World TB Day 2006
World TB Day is held on March 24th each year and provides people around the world with an opportunity to raise awareness about the international health threat presented by tuberculosis (TB). It is a day to recognise the collaborative efforts of all countries involved in fighting TB. TB can be cured, controlled, and with diligent efforts and sufficient resources, eventually eliminated.
The first World TB Day was sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) in 1982 a century after Dr. Robert Koch discovered the organism, which causes TB.
The theme for World TB Day 2006 - “Actions for Life: Towards a World free of TB” – aims to mobilise support for the fight against TB and to work towards a TB-free world. By mobilising communities, raising awareness, encouraging governments and donors to invest in TB control and calling for strengthened commitment, countries can ensure that TB is placed prominently on the global agenda and is eliminated by 2050.
In January 2006, the “Stop TB Partnership” released The Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015. The plan outlines what needs to be done to make an impact on the global burden of TB and to achieve the Partnership’s goal of cutting TB deaths and disease by half by 2015.
In order to accelerate social and political action to stop the unnecessary spread of TB around the world, World TB Day 2006 aims to:
- Promote TB control and care
- Serve as an advocacy and educational opportunity
- Increase public awareness, engagement, and support in the fight against TB
- Engage governments and donor agencies for strengthened commitments
- Place TB higher on the international agenda.
TB remains a leading cause of death worldwide with up to 8 million cases and 2 million deaths reported per year. In Ireland in 2003 (the latest validated figures) there were 407 cases of TB reported giving a notification rate of 10.4 cases per 100,000 population. The number of TB cases reported in Ireland has declined in the last decade with 612 cases reported in 1991, a rate of 18.2 per 100,000. The decline has been considerable since the early 1950s when 7,000 cases of TB were notified annually.
However we must remain vigilant regarding TB treatment and control and must strive to reach the targets of the Global Plan to Stop TB.
More information on TB is available at:
HPSC website at http://www.ndsc.ie/A-Z/VaccinePreventable/TuberculosisTB/
The Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015 at
CDC website for World TB Day, 2006 at http://www.cdc.gov/nchstp/tb/WorldTBDay/2006/default.htm
WHO Factsheet on TB at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs104/en/index.html