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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.

World Water Day is celebrated annually on 22 March. The objective is to raise awareness about the importance of global access to clean, safe water and the sustainable use of water. It’s also an opportunity to recognise the pivotal role water plays in daily life, supporting economic, social and human development.

This World Water Day, we encourage you to get involved. To help you get started, we’ve put together five ways you can make an impact this World Water Day. 

1. Practice responsible use of water

Take up the challenge to be more mindful of your own water use. If you find you use a lot of water, try to reduce your usage during your day-to-day routine. 

Some suggestions to reduce your water use include:

  • Turning off the tap while you brush your teeth
  • Using the half flush on the toilet instead of the full when possible
  • Taking 2 minute showers 
  • Making sure your dishwasher is full before turning it on

2. Watch documentaries on water to educate yourself

As World Water Day is focused on raising awareness about the importance of water, one way to gain a better understanding of water-related issues is by watching documentaries. There are a number of high-quality films available, often on YouTube or Netflix. 

Some documentaries we’d recommend  include; ‘The World’s Water Crisis, ‘Kenya’s Water Women’ and ‘A World Without Water’. 
We have a number of short films from ChildFund Australia’s Water World International Children’s Film Festival that you may also find interesting.

3. Visit the United Nations World Water Day website

Another way to get informed is to visit the official World Water Day website, which includes an abundance of resources, stories and information on how to become involved with World Water Day. 

4. Raise awareness on social media

Social media is one of the most effective ways to raise awareness. This World Water Day, we encourage you to share news, facts, statistics, videos or stories on your various social media channels to let your network know about the importance of sustainable water use. The more people that share information on their social channels, the greater the reach.

5. Donate to help those without access to clean water

Children in Cambodia with a hand pump well

This World Water Day, you can give the gift of clean water to those who need it most. Everyone should have access to clean water around the globe. 

ChildFund Australia’s Gifts For Good range incorporates a number of water-based gifts that have the power to change lives. 

You can help provide children and families overseas with access to clean water by donating:

  • 2 water filters: These will provide clean drinking water, which prevents the transmission of life threatening water-borne disease. 
  • A water tank: A water tank will provide clean water for drinking and washing to an entire community. 
  • Hand washing station: This is a simple gift with the power to help everyone in a community improve hygiene, and stay healthy. 

Celebrate World Water Day this March! 

However you choose to celebrate World Water Day, do it in an impactful and meaningful way for you and your community. Take on one or all of these five tips to ensure you mark World Water Day in a way that truly makes a difference.