World TB Day March 24th 2024


The theme of World TB Day 2024 - ‘Yes! We can end TB!’ – is a prompt to get back on track and turn the tide against the global TB epidemic.

TB remains a significant public health issue both globally and in Ireland. Although there has been a significant decline in the incidence of TB in Ireland in recent decades, there were still 224 cases notified in 2023, equating to an incidence rate of 4.4 per 100,000 population. As a low-incidence country (<10 cases per 100,000), Ireland should be aiming to achieve the WHO End TB Strategy target of an 80% reduction in TB cases between 2015 and 2030 - this would equate to 155 cases being diagnosed in Ireland last year. The COVID-19 Pandemic has adversely impacted on TB control both globally and in Ireland and a concerted effort is required to get us back on target.

The latest data on Tuberculosis in Ireland: provisional trends in surveillance is available at:

To progress the fight against TB, the HSE will shortly publish Striving to End Tuberculosis: A Strategy for Ireland 2024-2030 on. This is Ireland's first National TB Strategy will set the vision for a collaborative, multisectoral approach to TB control in Ireland.

Given TB is increasingly being seen among vulnerable and under-served populations (USPs) in Ireland, we must remove any barriers to accessing TB care to reduce health inequities. This approach will ensure that people with TB have the best possible outcomes, a benefit to them but also protecting the wider population - “No One is Safe Until Everyone Is Safe”.

What is Tuberculosis?
Tuberculosis or "TB" is a disease caused by a bacterium (germ) called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB usually affects the lungs but it can also affect other parts of the body, including the glands, the bones and rarely the brain.

Tuberculosis used to be more common in Ireland. There were nearly 7000 cases a year in the early 1950s. The incidence of TB has declined steadily since then. Detailed reports on the epidemiology of TB in Ireland are available on the HPSC website. Doctors are obliged to notify each case of TB to the local Departments of Public Health in the Health Service Executive.

TB disease is preventable and curable.

What are the symptoms of TB?
Symptoms of TB can include any of the following:

  • Fever and night sweats
  • Cough (generally lasting more than 3 weeks)
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in the sputum (phlegm) at any time

A person with any of these symptoms should visit their family doctor for advice. If someone has a reason to think that they might have TB, they should tell this to their doctor.

For more information about TB go to:

For more information about World TB Day go to: