World Tuberculosis Day – 24th March

This year's World TB Day theme

This year’s World TB Day theme

On 24 March 1882 Dr Robert Koch, who worked in Berlin, announced that he had identified the cause of Tuberculosis. At the time of Koch’s announcement TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. His discovery started the process of diagnosing and curing tuberculosis.  On the centenary in 1982, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) proposed that March 24 be proclaimed as official World Tuberculosis Day, which is now held on that date every year. This is a worldwide event that aims to raise public awareness of tuberculosis and the efforts made to prevent and treat this disease, and is promoted by bodies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO). The Stop TB Partnership, initially called the Stop TB Initiative, was established in 1998 as a network of organisations and countries fighting tuberculosis, and is central to organising events to mark the day.  Campaign activities include:

Community discussion groups that are organised to look at ways to prevent TB.

Award ceremonies or other events to honour the life and work of those who dedicate their lives to prevent and fight against TB.

Photo exhibitions that showcase images to raise worldwide awareness of TB.

Charity events to raise funds to support TB disease control in countries that need assistance.

Their website can be found here:

And the direct link to news about this year’s events is here:

In case you didn’t know…..

Tuberculosis, or TB, is an infectious bacterial disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs. It is transmitted from person to person via droplets from the throat and lungs of people with the disease. Although almost entirely eradicated in large parts of the world, TB still causes the deaths of around 1.7m people every year: around 60% of these occur in sub-Saharan Africa and 30% in SE Asia. For further information on TB, the NHS website is available here:


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