World TB Day 2010


World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is held on March 24th each year and provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the international health threat presented by TB. It is a day to recognise the collaborative efforts of all countries involved in fighting TB. 
March 24th commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. Koch's discovery opened the way toward diagnosing and curing TB. TB can be cured, controlled, and with diligent efforts and sufficient resources, eventually eliminated.

“On the Move against Tuberculosis, Innovate to Accelerate Action” is the theme for World TB Day 2010. This theme underlines the worldwide plan to Stop TB (Global Plan to Stop TB-2006-2015 at by promoting better efforts and innovative ways in order to achieve the 2006-2015 targets. The year 2010 marks the halfway point for the Global Plan. It is clearer than ever that all countries must scale up efforts and continue to seek new and innovative ways to stop TB if we are to achieve the targets outlined in the plan as follows:
 1. By 2015: To reduce the prevalence of and death due to TB by 50% relative to 1990
 2. By 2050: The global incidence of active TB will be less than 1 case per million
population (i.e. elimination of TB as a global public health problem)

Such innovations include finding new and better tools to fight tuberculosis e.g. drugs for treatment, vaccines and diagnostics and new innovative approaches for reaching people with TB care.

Though considerable achievements have been made, evidence shows that we need to speed up our efforts to achieve better results. The theme of innovation calls for a different way of thinking, as well as learning from the experiences of successful TB campaigns around the world.

TB –The Facts
TB remains a leading cause of death worldwide. In 2008, 1.8 million people died from TB including 500,000 people who were also co-infected with HIV. There were 9.4 million new cases of TB globally in 2008 including 1.4 million cases among people living with HIV. It is a disease closely related to poverty and more than 80% of the infected cases live in developing countries.  The vast majority of TB deaths are in developing countries and more than half of all deaths occur in Asia. Multidrug-resistant TB remains a threat and extensively drug-resistant TB has become an emerging threat.

Across the WHO European Region, over 450,000 TB cases were reported in 2008, representing approximately 6% of TB cases reported to WHO worldwide.  After an increase in overall TB notification rates between 2004 and 2007, the WHO European Region has reported a decrease of 2.6% since 2007.  The age group with the highest number (42.0%) of newly detected TB cases in the Region is the 25–44 year olds.

In 2007, (the latest validated figures) there were 480 cases of TB reported in Ireland, a notification rate of 11.3 cases per 100,000 population. This is a slight increase in TB cases notified compared to 2006 when 465 cases were notified and the notification rate was 11.0 per 100,000.  In 2008, 470 cases of TB have been provisionally reported giving a notification rate of 11.1 per 100,000. Full details are available here in the Annual TB Report 2007 (including provisional 2008 TB data). 

In 2007, the notification rate for TB in the indigenous population was 8.0 per 100,000 while the rate in foreign-born persons was 31.3 per 100,000.  The number of TB cases reported in Ireland has declined since the 1990s with 612 cases reported in 1991, a rate of 18.2 per 100,000. The decline has been even more considerable since the early 1950s when 7,000 cases of TB were notified annually.

More information on TB is available at:

HPSC website

Joint ECDC/WHO report on tuberculosis surveillance in Europe in 2008 

ECDC Website

WHO Euro website

Stop TB Partnership World TB Day 2010

WHO Global TB Report 2009

WHO TB website

The Global Plan to Stop TB 2006-2015

CDC website for World TB Day, 2010

Health Protection Agency UK