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WHO calls for action on world Tuberculosis Day

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The World Tuberculosis (TB) Day was observed across the globe on March 24, 2019 with an aim to raise public awareness about the upsetting health and economic consequences of tuberculosis and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) bacteria. The disease affects lungs and can also infect other parts of the body. The first symptoms of TB include bad cough which lasts for 3 weeks or longer. It causes pain in the chest.

Campaign launched by the WHO

On the occasion of the World TB Day 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a joint initiative ”Find. Treat. All. #EndTB” along with the Global Fund and Stop TB Partnership to speed up response to TB and ensure access to care in line with WHO’s ‘Universal Health Coverage’ initiative.

The campaign calls on all the governments, communities, civil society organizations, health-care organisations and partners to act in this worrying situation – ”It’s time for action! It’s time to End TB.”

TB free India

On the Day, President Ram Nath Kovind urged all stakeholders to come together to achieve a TB free India. He appealed to the people dedicate themselves towards achieving the goal.

India renewed its commitments and intentions to end TB by 2025, five years ahead of the global targets.

Tuberculosis: A Global Epidemic

• Despite significant steps taken to end the epidemic, Tuberculosis remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer as around 4500 people die every day due to TB and around 30000 people fall ill with this curable disease.

• In 2017, WHO reported that 10.4 million people fell ill with TB and there were 1.8 million TB deaths in 2016.

• Majorly, the disease thrives among people living in poverty, communities and groups that are marginalized such as migrants, refugees, ethnic minorities, the elderly, marginalised women and children.

 The Global concentrated efforts undertaken to combat TB have been successful in saving around 54 million lives since 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 42 percent.

 In September 2018, the global leaders came together and made strong commitments to end TB at the first-ever UN High Level Meeting.

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