World Tuberculosis Day 2021: The Clock Is Ticking

by Duke Magazine

Annually, World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is commemorated on March 24 to  raise public awareness about the precarious health, social and economic consequences of TB, and the initiative of stepping up efforts to grapple the global TB epidemic. 

The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease. 

Globally, TB remains one of the deadliest infectious diseases. Every day, nearly 4000 lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 63 million lives since the year 2000. 

‘The Clock is Ticking’ is this years theme, and it relays to us that the  world is running out of time to act on the commitments to end TB made by global leaders. This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has even 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.

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