World TB Day
Partnerships for TB Elimination
History of World TB Day
Return to World TB Day
On March 24, 1882, Dr. Robert Koch announced the
discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that
cause tuberculosis (TB). During this time, TB killed one out of
every seven people living in the United States and Europe. Dr.
Koch’s discovery was the most important step taken toward the
control and elimination of this deadly disease.
In 1982, a century after Dr. Koch's announcement, the first World TB
Day was sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the
International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD).
The event was intended to educate the public about the devastating
health and economic consequences of TB, its effect on developing
countries, and its continued tragic impact on global health.
Today, World TB Day is commemorated across the globe with
activities as diverse as the locations
in which they are held. But more can be done to raise awareness
about the effects of TB. Among infectious diseases, TB remains the
second leading killer of adults in the world, with more than 2
million TB-related deaths each year.
Until TB is controlled, World TB Day won’t be a celebration. But it
is a valuable opportunity to educate the public about the
devastation TB can spread and how it can be stopped.
TB Elimination: Now is the Time!