World TB Day 2011


World TB Day, falling on March 24th each year, aims to increase public awareness about tuberculosis (TB) and to support worldwide TB control efforts. March 24th commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the TB bacillus which was the cause of tuberculosis. At the time of Koch's announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people and his discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.

The Stop TB partnership theme for World TB Day 2011 is: “On the move against Tuberculosis: Transforming the fight towards elimination” ( The aim of this campaign is to promote innovation in TB research and care and is inspired by the ambitious new objectives and targets of the Global Plan to Stop TB 2011-2015: Transforming the Fight-Towards Elimination of Tuberculosis, which was launched by the Stop TB Partnership in October 2010. This new plan, for the first time, identifies all the research gaps that need to be filled to bring rapid TB tests, faster treatment regimens and a fully effective vaccine to market. It also shows public health programmes how to drive universal access to TB care, including how to modernise diagnostic laboratories and adopt revolutionary TB tests that have recently become available. Each new advance in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of TB should be a step towards TB elimination

To mark World TB Day, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe are highlighting the need to address childhood TB as an important component towards TB elimination. In Europe, almost 40,000 TB cases in children were notified in the past decade with more than 3,300 reported cases. ECDC has dedicated a theme website on childhood TB. On March 18th, ECDC in collaboration with the Stop TB Partnership hosted an international meeting on childhood TB in Stockholm. The meeting sought to identify possible strategies to improve the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of childhood TB.

In 2008, (the latest validated figures) there were 468 cases of TB reported in Ireland, a notification rate of 11.0 cases per 100,000 population. This is a slight decrease in TB cases notified compared to 2007 when 480 cases were notified and the notification rate was 11.3 per 100,000. In 2009, 472 cases of TB have been provisionally reported giving a notification rate of 11.1 per 100,000.

The age-specific incidence rate for children aged 0-14 years in 2008 was 1.7 per 100,000. TB cases in this age group (0-14 year old) accounted for 3.2% of all notified TB cases in 2008. Between 2004 and 2007 the age-specific incidence rate for children aged 0-14 years ranged between 1.2 per 100,000 in 2004 to 4.7 per 100,000 in 2007. In Europe, overall TB rates in this age group dropped from 5.5 per 100,000 in 2000 to 4.2 per 100,000 in 2009.

In 2008, the notification rate for TB in the indigenous population was 7.4 per 100,000 while the rate in foreign-born persons was 33.3 per 100,000. The number of TB cases reported in Ireland has declined since the 1990s with 604 cases reported in 1992, a rate of 17.1 per 100,000. The decline has been even more considerable since the early 1950s when 7,000 cases of TB were notified annually.

Full details are available in the Annual TB Report 2008 (including provisional 2009 TB data).