It’s Time to End TB
TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer taking the lives of over 4,000 people every day. Nearly 30,000 people get infected with this preventable and curable disease daily. Therefore, more needs to be done to end TB.
World TB Day is commemorated on the 24th of March, every year to raise public awareness about health and the social and economic consequences of TB with a specific theme. This year’s theme for the World TB Day is, “It’s Time”. The theme is aimed at bringing together various involved parties to eliminate TB.
- To test and treat latent TB:
Latent TB is a state of persistent immune response stimulated by Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens, but the infected person does not have active TB. People who have Latent TB if not treated are at risk of developing TB disease. Therefore, it is important to find and treat cases of both active and Latent TB to prevent progression to disease.
- To strengthen education and awareness among health providers:
Treatment of latent TB infection is important to help control and eliminate TB worldwide. Public health systems and private healthcare providers all play a crucial role in providing treatment for this disease.
The fact that millions of people still die from TB is reason enough to continue raising awareness and increasing efforts to test and treat people with Latent TB disease.
Stigma associated with TB can keep people from seeking the treatment or follow-up care they need. Speaking about TB and creating awareness about the disease will make people realise that anyone can have TB regardless of where they live, work or go to school.
Although everyone can get TB, there are people who are at a higher risk of developing this disease. These include:
- People with chronic conditions like kidney disease or diabetes
- People with HIV/AIDs
- Babies and young children whose immune systems have not matured
- People who have undergone organ transplants
- Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and those receiving certain specialised treatments for autoimmune disorders like Crohn’s disease or Rheumatoid arthritis.
This year’s theme puts emphasis on the urgency to act on the commitments made by global leaders to:
- Scale up access to prevention & treatment
- Promote equitable, rights-based & people-centered TB response
- Ensure sufficient & sustainable financing including for research
- Promote an end to stigma & discrimination
- Build accountability
If all the concerned parties remain committed to the eradication of TB, it will be a thing of the past and no more lives will be lost to this preventable and curable disease.