World Tuberculosis Day is held annually on 24 of March to raise awareness and educate the public about the global impact of tuberculosis (TB). TB causes devastating health, social and economic consequences around the world, especially in countries like Papua New Guinea.
Haven’t heard of World Tuberculosis Day? Here’s our guide to what World Tuberculosis Day is all about, and how you can educate yourself and help raise awareness about this life-threatening infectious disease.
Why do we celebrate World Tuberculosis Day?
March 24 is the anniversary of the day scientist Dr Robert Koch, discovered the cause of TB, the TB bacillus in 1882. This discovery was groundbreaking and led to the diagnosis and successful treatment of the disease.
A century later, the United Nations declared that this date would be commemorated as World Tuberculosis Day, to raise awareness and educate the public about the impact of TB.
What is tuberculosis (TB)?
TB is an infectious disease that attacks the lungs, however, it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, kidneys or the spine. It is highly contagious and spreads person to person through the air via coughs, sneezes, and when the bacteria is released into the air during conversation.
According to the World Health Organisation, a total of 1.5 million people died from TB in 2018 and it is one of the top ten causes of death around the world. Over 95% of cases and deaths occur in developing countries.
Although a preventable and curable disease, TB is a major cause of illness and death for children in developing countries, where providing treatment is challenging, particularly in remote communities.
What is the theme for World Tuberculosis Day 2020?
The theme of World Tuberculosis Day 2020 is ‘It’s Time’. The focus for 2020 is to put pressure on global leaders to act urgently on issues such as prevention, treatment, sustainable funding for research and to end the stigma and discrimination that surrounds TB.
How you can make an impact on World Tuberculosis Day
If you would like to get involved and make a difference this World Tuberculosis Day, here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Spread awareness and start a conversation on social media
To spread awareness about World Tuberculosis Day, one of the best ways is to share relevant information on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn accounts.
We suggest sharing statistics, tuberculosis stories, educational resources or other communication materials that can help to raise awareness of this global disease. You can use the hashtags #WorldTBDay and #ItsTimeToEndTB to spark a conversation.
2. Educate yourself about tuberculosis
World Tuberculosis Day is the perfect time to learn more about the impact of TB around the world. Visit the official World Tuberculosis Day 2020 page to learn more about the event. There are also a number of resources, stories and videos you can watch on the internet to learn more about TB and its impact.
3. Donate to provide access to treatment
If you want to make a difference and save a child in need, donate to programs which support children living in rural areas of developing countries. You can help them access adequate healthcare and prevent further TB transmissions.
Support World Tuberculosis Day
Support World Tuberculosis Day this year and make a difference in the lives of children impacted by the disease.
We believe all children should have the right to adequate healthcare. By spreading awareness, educating yourself or making a donation, you will be helping to combat this disease by improving access to healthcare to reduce the impact TB has on children in developing countries.