Each year on 24 March, the world observes World TB Day. This important international day intends to raise public awareness that tuberculosis remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries. In 1882 Dr Robert Koch made the principal discovery of the tubercule bacillus, which was a major event in the history of medicine and essentially a turning point in our understanding and conquest of that deadly disease which had plagued mankind for millennia. Koch’s significant discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.
According to the WHO “TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer. Each day, nearly 4500 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 54 million lives since the year 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 42%.”
To accelerate the TB response in countries to reach targets – Heads of State came together and made strong commitments to end TB at the first-ever UN High Level Meeting in September 2018. The NIOH participated in this meeting last year and made substantive contributions from an occupational health perspective. As a National Institute, we will continue to try our best to focus on primary prevention through workplaces so that we may stand on the threshold of the dream of an Africa free from TB.
It’s time for action! It’s time to End TB.