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World Tuberculosis Day

  • 24 Mar 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed on 24th March every year to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.

  • The date 24th March is chosen to commemorate the anniversary of Dr. Robert Koch’s discovery of the cause of Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium Tuberculosis) in 1882.

Key Points

  • TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer.
    • Each day, over 4000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.
  • Theme for 2020: ‘It’s time’. It puts the accent on the urgency to act on the commitments made by global leaders to:
    • scale up access to prevention and treatment.
    • build accountability.
    • ensure sufficient and sustainable financing including for research.
    • promote an end to stigma and discrimination.
    • promote an equitable, rights-based and people-centered TB response.
  • Global Efforts:
  • India’s Efforts:
    • The Government of India has committed to eliminate the prevalence of TB by 2025, with commensurate resources to rapidly reduce TB incidence prevalence and mortality in India.
    • The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is implementing the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for Tuberculosis Elimination (2017-2025).
    • The President of India had appealed to all the stakeholders to come together to reinforce the efforts in "TB Harega Desh Jeetega Campaign" to make it a true people’s movement.


  • TB is caused by bacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) that most often affect the lungs.
  • Transmission: TB is spread from person to person through the air. When people with TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air.
  • Symptoms: Cough with sputum and blood at times, chest pains, weakness, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
  • Treatment: TB is a treatable and curable disease. It is treated with a standard 6 month course of 4 antimicrobial drugs that are provided with information, supervision and support to the patient by a health worker or trained volunteer.
  • Anti-TB medicines have been used for decades and strains that are resistant to 1 or more of the medicines have been documented in every country surveyed.
    • Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is a form of TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to isoniazid and rifampicin, the 2 most powerful, first-line anti-TB drugs. MDR-TB is treatable and curable by using second-line drugs.
    • Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) is a more serious form of MDR-TB caused by bacteria that do not respond to the most effective second-line anti-TB drugs, often leaving patients without any further treatment options.

Source: PIB

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