World Tuberculosis Day: Combating TB Together

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World Tuberculosis Day: Combating TB Together

World Tuberculosis Day, observed annually on March 24, serves as a global platform to raise awareness about tuberculosis (TB) and the ongoing efforts to eliminate this disease. It acknowledges the contributions of health professionals, researchers, policymakers, and advocates in the fight against TB.

History and Significance:

World Tuberculosis Day commemorates Dr. Robert Koch's discovery of the TB-causing bacteria in 1882. TB has existed for over three million years and has been known by various names throughout history, depending on its location. The theme for World TB Day 2024, "Yes! We can end TB!" underscores the importance of increased funding, rapid action, multisectoral cooperation, and the adoption of new WHO guidelines and innovative approaches to eradicate TB. Following the commitments made by Heads of State at the UN High-Level Meeting in 2023, this year's focus is on translating these commitments into tangible actions.


Global efforts have saved 75 million lives since 2000. However, in 2022, 10.6 million people fell ill with TB, and 1.3 million died from the disease. These numbers highlight the urgency of the situation and the need for continued action.

WHO Initiatives:

To scale up access to TB preventive treatment, the World Health Organization (WHO) will release an investment case. This case emphasizes the importance of supporting the rollout of WHO-recommended TB preventive treatment options, shorter treatment regimens, rapid diagnostics, and other innovations to improve health outcomes and save lives. Investments in research and innovation are crucial to achieving the end TB targets.

Global Action:

Recognizing that people with TB are among the most marginalized and vulnerable, WHO calls for global action to address health inequities. This includes improving access to care for TB and other diseases.

India's Initiatives:

India has launched the 'Ni-kshay Mitra' campaign, urging citizens to join the movement for a TB-free India. Over 10 lakh TB patients have been adopted by citizens, and children as young as 10-12 years old are actively participating. Since 2018, approximately Rs 2,000 crore has been directly sent to the bank accounts of TB patients, benefiting about 75 lakh patients.

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