World Tuberculosis Day

Every year on March 24th, World Tuberculosis Day is commemorated to raise public awareness of the global tuberculosis (TB) epidemic and efforts to eradicate the illness. In the year of 2018 alone, 10 million individuals became infected with tuberculosis (TB) and 1.5 million died as a result of the disease, the majority of whom lived in low and middle income countries. This also renders it the main cause of infection related death. World Tuberculosis Day, alongside World Immunisation Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Hepatitis Day, World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, World Patient Safety Day, World Blood Donor Day, World Chagas Disease Day, World Health Day, and World AIDS Day, is one of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) eleven official global public health campaigns.

The topic can be asked as a Current Affairs Question in IAS Prelims and Mains.

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History of World TB Day

Throughout the 1980s, TB was on the increase all across the world. This rise occurred after the disease had been at an all time low in industrialised nations such as the United States and the United Kingdom for nearly two decades. Its reintroduction to those countries was ascribed to a number of variables, including transnational increases in travel and migration, as well as a rise in the number of HIV/AIDS, as well as regional decreases in public health organisations’ concern about the risk of infection. As a result, the World Health Organisation (WHO) established World Tuberculosis Day. An annual commemoration would serve to bring researchers, funding agencies, and the general public’s attention to the worldwide fight against tuberculosis. WHO sponsored World Tuberculosis Day at first, with help from other organisations including the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease.

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Note: IAS exam could ask basic facts about this topic as it holds international as well as domestic importance.

Significance

Workshops for the press, meetings between international organisations, and gatherings of scientists working in tuberculosis research are all held on World Tuberculosis Day to allow for the sharing and distribution of information on contemporary tuberculosis challenges. Efforts are also made to provide doctors and healthcare facilities in countries across the world with knowledge on the development of novel treatments and diagnostic technologies. On World Tuberculosis Day, charity as well as other fundraisers, memorial ceremonies, and numerous educational programmes and activities help to raise public awareness of tuberculosis.

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