Together we can end Tuberculosis NOW!
Tuberculosis, one of the deadliest infectious disease, claims the lives of nearly 4000 people every day, infecting 28,000, according to the WHO.
Efforts over the years have saved 63 million lives since the year 2000.
Every year on February 24, the world joins forces together to spread awareness about tuberculosis and its devastating health, social and economic consequences.
The day also marks the discovery of cause behind disease.
On this day in 1882, Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium which causes tuberculosis infection – Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This discovery was instrumental towards diagnosing and curing the disease.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious infection caused by a bacterium which usually attacks the lungs. However, any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain can be affected as well.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in its second year, attention and provision of necessary resources and life-saving diagnosis towards combating the dreaded disease have shifted focus.
“The COVID-19 pandemic that has put End TB progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.” The WHO says.
This year’s theme “The Clock Is Ticking” sounds the alarm for world leaders to make due their commitment in helping putting an end to the disease.
According to WHO, “This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put ‘End TB’ progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage,” the WHO website reads.
“On World TB Day, WHO calls on everyone to keep the promise to:
Accelerate the End TB Response to reach the targets set in Sustainable Development Goals, WHO End TB Strategy, the Moscow Declaration to End TB and the political declaration of the UN High-Level Meeting on TB.
Diagnose and treat 40 million people with TB by 2022 including 3.5 million children and 1.5 million people with drug-resistant TB. This is in line with WHO’s overall drive towards Universal Health Coverage and the WHO Director General’s flagship initiative “Find. Treat. All. #EndTB” jointly with the Global Fund and Stop TB Partnership.
Reach 30 million people with TB preventive treatment by 2022 so that those people most at risk receive TB preventive treatment, including 24 million household contacts of TB patients – 4 million of whom are children under 5 – and 6 million people living with HIV.
Mobilize sufficient and sustainable financing to reach USD 13 billion a year to support efforts to end TB; for every USD 1 invested to end TB, USD 43 is returned as the benefits of a healthy functioning society (Economist/ Copenhagen Consensus).
Invest in TB research to reach at least USD 2 billion a year for better science, better tools and better delivery.
THE CLOCK IS TICKING. IT’S TIME TO KEEP OUR PROMISES. IT’S TIME TO #END TB.”
Together we can!