tuberculosis Current Affairs

March 24: World TB Day

The World Tuberculosis Day (WTD) is observed every year on March 24 to raise public awareness about the global epidemic of Tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease.

WTD is observed to commemorate discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, bacillus (bacteria) causing TB on 24th March, 1882 by German microbiologist Dr Robert Koch. This discovery had opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB. It is one of eight official global public health campaigns observed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

2017 Theme (Campaign): “Unite to End TB”. This year it is second year of a two year “United to End TB” Campaign. WHO has placed special focus on uniting efforts to “Leave no one behind” including actions to address stigma, discrimination, marginalization and overcome barriers to access care.

On this occasion, WHO also released TB Ethics guidelines to ensure that the countries while implementing the End TB strategy adhere to sound ethical standards to protect the rights of all those affected.

About Tuberculosis (TB)

  • TB is a disease caused by bacteria “Mycobacterium tuberculosis” that most often affect the lungs. The disease is spread from person to person through the air.
  • It commonly affects the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body. It is the second biggest killer disease worldwide next only to HIV/AIDS. It can be completely cured with proper and regular medication.
  • According to WHO, in 2015, 10.4 million people fell ill with TB and 1.8 million died from the disease. Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries.


India signs WHO’s Call To End TB by 2030 in South East Asian region

India along with other countries in the South East Asian Region have signed World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Call To end Tuberculosis (TB) by 2030 in the region.

It was signed by Health ministers from countries in WHO South-East Asia Region (WHO SEARO) during two-day ministerial meeting towards ending TB in the region held in New Delhi. 

Key Facts
  • Call To End TB by 2030 initiative also stresses on increasing government and partner budgetary allocations to enable national TB plans to be fully funded.
  • WHO SEARO countries have pledged to scale-up efforts and implement adequately funded, innovative, multi-sectoral and comprehensive measures to achieve the global target to end the disease by 2030.
  • They also agreed to set up of a ‘regional innovation to implementation fund’ for accelerated sharing of knowledge, intellectual resources and innovations to reach out and treat all cases.
  • The WHO global targets seek to reduce TB mortality by 90% and incidence by 80% by 2030.

WHO South East Asian Region bears half of the global tuberculosis burden. Six of the region’s countries Bangladesh, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand are among the 30 high TB burden nations globally. In 2015, TB caused estimated 4.74 million new TB cases were reported in the region and nearly 8,00,000 deaths. India represents the single highest number of TB cases in the world reporting 2.8 million new TB cases annually and nearly half a million deaths due to the disease.

 Note: WHO’s South-East Asia Region comprises Bhutan, Bangladesh, South Korea, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Timor-Leste. 

Tuberculosis is an infectious, airborne disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It mainly affects the lungs. It can be transmitted from person to person through the air when people with TB cough, sneeze, laugh or speak, spit, propelling the germs into the atmosphere.