World Tuberculosis Day
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|World Tuberculosis Day|
|Observed by||All UN Member States|
|Next time||24 March 2014|
World Tuberculosis Day, falling on March 24 each year, is designed to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis and efforts to eliminate the disease. Today tuberculosis causes the deaths of about 1.7 million people each year, mostly in the Third World.
March 24 commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing to a small group of scientists at the University of Berlin's Institute of Hygiene that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. According to Koch’s colleague, Paul Ehrlich, “At this memorable session, Koch appeared before the public with an announcement which marked a turning-point in the story of a virulent human infectious disease. In clear, simple words Koch explained the aetiology of tuberculosis with convincing force, presenting many of his microscope slides and other pieces of evidence.” At the time of Koch's announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch's discovery opened the way toward diagnosing and curing tuberculosis.
In 1982, on the one-hundredth anniversary of Robert Koch's presentation, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) proposed that March 24 be proclaimed an official World TB Day. This was part of a year-long centennial effort by the IUATLD and the World Health Organization (WHO) under the theme “Defeat TB: Now and Forever.” World TB Day was not officially recognized as an annual occurrence by WHO's World Health Assembly and the United Nations until over a decade later.
In the fall of 1995, WHO and the Royal Netherlands Tuberculosis Foundation (KNCV) hosted the first World TB Day advocacy planning meeting in Den Haag, Netherlands; an event they would continue co-sponsor over the next few years. In 1996, WHO, KNCV, the IUATLD and other concerned organizations joined to conduct a wide range of World TB Day activities.
For World TB Day 1997, WHO held a news conference in Berlin during which WHO Director-General Hiroshi Nakajima declared that “DOTS is the biggest health breakthrough of this decade, according to lives we will be able to save.” WHO's Global TB Programme Director, Dr. Arata Kochi, promised that, "Today the situation of the global TB epidemic is about to change, because we have made a breakthrough. It is the breakthrough of health management systems that makes it possible to control TB not only in wealthy countries, but in all parts of the developing world, where 95 percent of all TB cases now exist."
By 1998, nearly 200 organizations conducted public outreach activities on World TB Day. During its World TB Day 1998 news conference in London, WHO for the first time identified the top twenty-two countries with the world’s highest TB burden.  The next year, over 60 key TB advocates from 18 countries attended the three-day WHO/KNCV planning meeting for World TB Day 1999. 
U.S. President Bill Clinton marked World TB Day 2000 by administering the WHO-recommended DOTS treatment to patients at the Mahavir Hospital in Hyderabad, India. According to Clinton, “These are human tragedies, economic calamities, and far more than crises for you, they are crises for the world. The spread of disease is the one global problem for which . . . no nation is immune.” 
Today the Stop TB Partnership, a network of organizations and countries fighting TB (the IUATLD is a member and WHO houses the Stop TB Partnership secretariat in Geneva), organizes the Day to highlight the scope of the disease and how to prevent and cure it.
World Tuberculosis Day 2010
On the occasion of World TB Day 2010, the International Committee of the Red Cross declared that attempts to stem the spread of tuberculosis across the globe are likely to fall well short of what is needed unless authorities in affected countries significantly increase their efforts to stop the deadly disease from breeding inside prisons. As a result of overcrowding and poor nutrition, TB rates in many prisons are 10 to 40 times higher than in the general public. The ICRC has been fighting TB in prisons in the Caucasus region, Central Asia, Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa for more than a decade, either directly or by supporting local programmes.
Themes by year
- 2013: Stop TB in my lifetime Call for a world free of TB.
- 2012: Stop TB in my lifetime Call for a world free of TB.
- 2011: On the move against TB: Transforming the fight towards elimination
- 2010: On the move against TB: Innovate towards action
- 2009: I am stopping TB
- 2008: I am stopping TB
- 2007: TB anywhere is TB everywhere
- 2006: Actions for life – Towards a world free of TB
- 2005: Frontline TB care providers: Heroes in the fight against TB
- 2004: Every breath counts – Stop TB now!
- 2003: DOTS cured me – it will cure you too!
- 2002: Stop TB, fight poverty
- 2001: DOTS: TB cure for all
- 2000: Forging new partnerships to Stop TB
- 1999: Stop TB, use DOTS
- 1998: DOTS success stories
- 1997: Use DOTS more widely
- "Tuberculosis". WHO. 2010-11. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
- Ryan, Frank. 1992. Tuberculosis: The Greatest Story Never Told. Worcestershire: Swift Publishers.
- Paul Steinbruck. 1982. “Robert Koch.” World Health (January): 4-7.
- IUATLD/WHO information kit, 1982
- Klaudt, Kraig. 2000. “Mobilizing Society Against TB.” Pp. 843-864 in Tuberculosis: A Comprehensive International Approach, 2d ed, ed. L. Reichman and E. Hershfield. New York: MarcelDekker.
- “Breakthrough in TB Control Announced by World Health Organization,” Press Release WHO/23, March 19, 1997
- Kochi, Arata. "Statement to the Press." March 19, 1997.
- Klaudt; 860
- ”Progress Against TB Stalled in Key Countries.” WHO press releass #30, March 19, 1998, (http://www.who.int/inf-pr-1998/en/pr98-30.html).
- Guicherit-Samson, Carla. 1999. “Report on Workshop Word TB Day.” KNCV memo 34.123/CGS/8172ev.
- ”President Clinton Helps TB Patients.” WHO press release #20, March 24, 2000, (http://www.who.int/inf-pr-2000/en/pr2000-20.html).
- Tuberculosis: a killer that can’t be kept behind bars, ICRC News release, 22.03.2010
- Tuberculosis: stopping a killer that can't be kept behind bars, ICRC
- "Health in prison - The tuberculosis epidemic breaks through prison walls"., International Committee of the Red Cross
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- "TB British Red Cross helps combat TB".
- "Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative".
- "International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease - Tuberculosis".
- "World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe - World TB Day".
- "World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean - World TB Day".
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