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World Tuberculosis Day 2021World Tuberculosis Day is observed annually on 24th March. It is observed to raise awareness about the global epidemic of Tuberculosis (TB).

  • 2021 Theme – ‘The Clock is Ticking
  • It is one of the 11 official Global Public Health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
  • In 1982, on the 100th Anniversary of Robert Koch’s presentation about TB, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) proposed to observe 24th March as World TB Day.

Why was 24th March observed

  • It is on 24th March, 1882 that Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the cause of Tuberculosis – the TB Bacillus.

TB – World’s Deadliest Infectious Disease

According to WHO,

  • TB remains one of the World’s deadliest infectious killers.
  • Each day, around 4000 people die due to TB & close to 28,000 people get affected due to TB.

According to the report ‘Global Tuberculosis Report 2020’

  • The TB incidence rate in India is 193 per 1 Lakh population, with total number of cases estimated at 26, 40, 000.
  • The three countries with the largest share of global burden were India (27%), China (14%) & Russia (8%).

Targets to End TB

  • India has set an ambitious goal to achieve “End Tuberculosis” by reducing the incidence of new TB cases by 80% by 2025.
  • Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is among the health targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Healthcare for TB reduced by 21% in 2020: WHO

According to preliminary data compiled by the WHO from over 80 countries, healthcare for TB reduced by 21% in 2020 due to coronavirus pandemic.

  • An estimated 1.4 Million fewer people received care for TB in 2020 than in 2019.
  • Countries with biggest relative gaps were Indonesia (42%), South Africa (41%), Philippines (37%), & India (25%).
  • More than half a million more people may have died from TB in 2020, due to the inability to obtain a diagnosis.

Kerala’s TB eradication programme bags award

Kerala won Bronze Medal in the Union Health Ministry’s Sub National Certification of Efforts towards Elimination of TB.

  • Estimated incidence of TB decreased by 37.5% in Kerala between 2015-20 (an annual decline rate of 7.5%). Even the global figures for annual incidence of TB reduction has never been more than 2-3%.
  • Kerala is the lone state chosen for the recognition in the State category.
  • Kerala claim of TB incidence decline was evaluated by a team from the National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, WHO and Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine.

About International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD):

President – Professor Guy Marks
Headquarters – Paris, France