World TB Day, falling on March 24 each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis, today, remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries.
The theme ‘Unite to End TB: Leave no one behind’ is in its second year of running with the purpose of providing health care for all patients suffering from this ailment.
So far an estimated 49 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2015.
In a press release by the World Health Organization (WHO) it is reported that TB remains the world’s top infectious disease killer, claiming 5 000 lives each day. The heaviest burden is carried by communities which already face socio-economic challenges: migrants, refugees, prisoners, ethnic minorities, miners and others working and living in risk-prone settings, and marginalized women, children and older people.
In 2015, 10.4 million people fell ill with TB and 1.8 million died from the disease (including 0.4 million among people with HIV). Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Six countries account for 60% of the total, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.
In 2015, an estimated 1 million children became ill with TB and 170 000 children died of TB (excluding children with HIV). TB is a leading killer of HIV-positive people: in 2015, 35% of HIV deaths were due to TB.
Globally in 2015, an estimated 480 000 people developed multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).
TB incidence has fallen by an average of 1.5% per year since 2000. This needs to accelerate to a 4–5% annual decline to reach the 2020 milestones of the "End TB Strategy" and an estimated 49 million lives were saved through TB diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2015.
As the day is marked, everyone is enjoined to be a crusader to reduce the number of TB infections.
Source: ATL FM NEWS