Tuberculosis, serious disease of the lungs which causes severe coughing, coughing up blood, and night sweats. It can be fatal if not treated, as it remains a huge epidemic among the world population.
Tuberculosis can be treated with medication, but those in third-world countries don’t have access to those resources. This disease can lead to death over a long period of time.
World Tuberculosis Day aims to increase the awareness of this disease while also encouraging people out there to end this potential epidemic.
History of World Tuberculosis Day
In 1882, Dr. Robert Koch discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. During that time tuberculosis was rampant in Europe. Many doctors and scientists were left without any clue as to why these people were catching this disease and dying from it within weeks.
While the discovery of this cause leads eventually to a treatment. Not many people recognized this historical event. In 1982, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease proposed the idea of World Tuberculosis Day.
It was seen as a way to raise awareness of Koch’s work as well as educate people about tuberculosis. The holiday, however, wasn’t officially recognized by the United Nations and WHO’s World Health Assembly until a decade later.
On September of 2018, the United Nations General Assembly held the first High-Level Meeting on ending tuberculosis globally. World Tuberculosis Day commemorates Koch’s discovery by raising awareness of the severity tuberculosis can bring if not treated.
According to WHO, global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 54 million lives since the year 2000. This meant that they reduced the TB mortality rate by 42%. This day encourages the urgency to push global leaders to pay attention to tuberculosis by building accountability.
It also hopes to scale up prevention and treatments, promote the end to the stigma of the disease. These efforts will promote a more efficient response to treating tuberculosis.
How to Celebrate World Tuberculosis Day
Celebrate World Tuberculosis Day by researching Koch’s work and learn about how he discovered the bacteria that has caused so many deaths over the past decades. Attend public seminars, put flyers out to your local community and donate money to a charitable organization that supports tuberculosis research.
Raise awareness to tuberculosis by sharing facts and information about tuberculosis on social media using the hashtag #tuberculosisday. Let your friends and family know what tuberculosis. Encourage them to speak to a doctor about it if they believe they have symptoms of active tuberculosis.