Commemorating the World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday noted that the Covid-19 pandemic has reversed years of progress made in the fight to end TB.
“Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 66 million lives since the year 2000. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has reversed years of progress made in the fight to end TB. For the first time in over a decade, TB deaths increased in 2020,” the WHO said in a statement.
World Tuberculosis Day is commemorated on March 24 every year to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
“Tuberculosis was the top infectious disease killer before Covid & will remain after. This should not be acceptable to any of us. We need to invest in better tools, data, health services, awareness, reduce stigma, provide social support – in other words, multi-sectoral action!” said Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at WHO.
Each day, over 4100 people lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.
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