CAIRO – 24 March 2022: The World Health Organization celebrates World Tuberculosis Day on March 24 each year in order to raise public awareness of the devastating health, social and economic consequences of tuberculosis and intensify efforts to end this global epidemic.
In 1882, Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacteria that cause tuberculosis, which paved the way for the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.
The World Health Organization said in a statement Thursday that 1.5 million people died of tuberculosis in 2020, and that 9.9 million people contracted tuberculosis in 2020.
The organization added, that tuberculosis remains one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world. According to the WHO, more than 4,100 people lose their lives due to tuberculosis, and about 28,000 people are infected with this preventable and treatable disease every day. Global efforts to fight tuberculosis have saved nearly 66 million lives since 2000.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has undermined years of progress in efforts to end tuberculosis. For the first time in more than a decade, deaths from tuberculosis have increased in 2020.
The theme for World Tuberculosis Day 2022 is “Invest To End TB. Save Lives,” a message stressing the urgent need to invest resources and intensify efforts to combat tuberculosis and to fulfill the commitments of world leaders to combat tuberculosis.
The World Health Organization indicated that to ensure equitable access to prevention and care, in line with WHO's drive towards universal health coverage, increased investments would save millions more lives and speed up the end of the tuberculosis epidemic.