The goal is to raise public awareness about tuberculosis and the devastating impact the illness has on human health, as well as the social and economic fabric of countries where it is endemic. The theme for 2018 is Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), March 24 was chosen as World TB Day as that is the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch – a German physician – announced he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB. This in turn paved the way for diagnosing and curing the illness.
Tuberculosis is a disease caused by slow-growing bacteria that attacks areas of the body that have an abundance of blood and oxygen, especially the lungs which is where TB is most often found. This is called active respiratory TB disease. Tuberculosis can also spread to other parts of the body, and this is called non-respiratory TB disease. Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. As a result, Tuberculosis can be active (infectious and will make you sick) or latent (sleeping).
Active tuberculosis is the world’s deadliest infectious disease - taking over 4,500 lives each day. WHO statistics
show in 2016, more than 10-million people became ill with TB and 1.7-million people died from the disease.
While TB disease occurs largely in lower- and middle-income countries, it also exists in British Columbia (BC). In BC, there are approximately 275 cases of active TB every year, and 700 cases of latent TB.
Tuberculosis is a priority for the BC Centre For Disease Control (BCCDC), which provides testing and treatment for TB at clinics in Vancouver and New Westminster
. The BCCDC’s TB team includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists, outreach workers, educators and support staff. The team also conducts research and partners with colleagues and stakeholders in the health authorities, government and the community.
Everyone can be a leader for a TB-free world! Take some time to learn more by watching and sharing these videos produced by BCCDC:
You can also find more information by visiting the following websites: