Today is World Tuberculosis Day. The day is observed on 24th March every year to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of Tuberculosis, TB, and to step up efforts to end the global epidemic. The day is observed to commemorate the anniversary of Dr. Robert Koch’s discovery of the TB bacteria in 1882.
TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, nearly 4000 lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 63 million lives since the year 2000. The theme of World TB Day 2021 – ‘The Clock is Ticking’ –conveys the sense that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments to end TB made by global leaders. This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put End TB progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.
President Ram Nath Kovind in his message has said that Government of India is committed to achieving the goal of Universal Health Coverage as per the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He said, this is being implemented under the aegis of Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana which is the largest national insurance scheme in the world.
The President said, the entire National TB Elimination Program was at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 and their commitment towards tackling the COVID pandemic while continuing with TB elimination efforts is commendable. Mr. Kovind said, on this occasion, we should reinvigorate our efforts to achieve ‘Health for All’, and create a brighter and healthier future for generations to come.