Today marks World Tuberculosis Day. Under the supervision of World Health Organization (WHO) every year since 1995, this day is being observed on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of tuberculosis (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.
The theme of World TB Day 2018 is “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world”- focuses on building commitment to end TB, not only at the political level with Heads of State and Ministers of Health, but at all levels of the government and private sector.
TB is a contagious disease caused by a microbe name mycobacterium tuberculosis. It spreads in the air through the cough, sneeze of the infected. Later this germ enters the lungs of another person through breathing. Patients with the less immune system are more likely to be infected with this disease.
It is expected that due to the introduction of the advanced medical system, increasing the quality of food habit and increasing awareness, the incidence of this disease has decreased considerably. But still TB continues to be the top infectious killer worldwide, claiming over 4,500 lives a day despite significant progress over the last decades.
At present, 22 countries have been identified with the patients suffering from tuberculosis. Among them, Bangladesh is one. According to World Health Organization`s Global Tuberculosis Report 2016, about one thousand people get infected with tuberculosis every day in Bangladesh. At least 200 people die of tuberculosis every day. 40 percent of tuberculosis patients and 80 percent of the drug-resistant tuberculosis patients are not yet identified. This is because of the huge population, incidence of diabetes, malnutrition, the incidence of smoking and poverty.
World TB Day provides the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the disease and mobilize political and social commitment to accelerate progress to end TB. Like the whole world, Bangladesh has taken initiatives to observe the World TB Day and to create awareness among the people. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Health Directorate, National Tuberculosis Control Program, BRAC and Associate Organizations have taken joint programs. The program includes the procession, special talk shows and documentary exhibitions.
It was said at one time, "Whoever has Tuberculosis, will not be spared." Death was the ultimate destiny for a TB patient earlier. But the time has changed now. Due to the improvement of medical science, the rate of mortality due to tuberculosis has decreased considerably. But still, many people are suffering from tuberculosis in the underdeveloped countries. The World Health Organization and the other development organizations are working to reduce the death rate.