World Tuberculosis Day: "the clock is ticking"

World Tuberculosis Day is marked on the calendar on March 24, which serves as a reminder of the devastating consequences of the disease. What is tuberculosis? It is a bacterial and infectious disease produced directly by Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

In settings where symptoms occur, the complications are varied and the required treatment is extensive. The clinical importance is that the disease affects approximately 10,000,000 people each year. On the other hand, annual deaths are around 1,400,000.

However, the good news is that international initiatives to provide information, provide treatment and denote adequate prevention have managed to save more than 60 million lives. Thus, efforts are essential, since the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates an estimate of a quarter of the affected population.

Celebration of World Tuberculosis Day

The reason for the celebration of World Tuberculosis Day is in the creating awareness and uniting wills to reduce the consequences at its simplest.

Regarding its history, the selection of March 24 as the favorite day is due to Dr. Robert Koch. This remarkable German-born doctor and microbiologist, to be more precise in Clausthal-Zellerfeld, undertook the task of discovering the tubular-shaped bacillus or bacterium of tuberculosis in 1882. In this way, the advance to counteract the disease was exponential. .


The objectives that are sought to accelerate from World Tuberculosis Day are short and long term. In addition to this, each of the goals has micro-goals along the way so that the work goes according to real possibilities.

Indeed, within the generic purposes are the following:

  • Increase the spectrum of people who receive timely information on tuberculosis and its treatment.
  • Increase financial resources intended for the fight against tuberculosis.
  • Reach the 30,000,000 people most at risk with access to preventive treatments (target set for 2022).
  • Increase the number of diagnoses to 40,000,000 (target set for 2022).
  • Encourage greater investment in research tools (2,000,000,000 per year) to evolve in terms of effective treatments.
  • Raise awareness about the cost of lives that causes neglect of tuberculosis cases worldwide.

Tuberculosis has a predominant pulmonary form that is expressed with severe respiratory symptoms.


Campaign activities are established by the World Health Organization (WHO) to make useful materials available to the population to give visibility and raise awareness.

In this sense, some of the most notorious activities are the following:

  • Post mosaics, infographics, or posters on social media with valuable information on the fight against tuberculosis.
  • Use the hashtag #EndTB to share your own or close experience with tuberculosis and relate its risks.
  • Open a question and answer channel on how tuberculosis works, as well as the best way to cope with it.
  • Campaign in different countries of the world so that the expansive wave of information reaches new spaces.
  • Create contests to recognize World Tuberculosis Day.
  • Planning radio programs on the occasion of tuberculosis.

Also read: 10 natural antibiotics that do not require a prescription

World Tuberculosis Day themes

The slogan for World Tuberculosis Day 2021 is "The clock is ticking". A phrase that tells us that time passes, lives continue to be lost and it is time to take the final step to defeat the disease.

Therefore, one way to make visible the advances that have occurred is through the topics previously applied:

  1. "Let's end tuberculosis in our generation". To note the development that has taken place to express that eradication is possible in less time than projected.
  2. "Serve the 3 million". Try to care for all the people who suffer from tuberculosis, since the sanitary insufficiency in different sectors caused that 3 million affected per year were left without treatment.
  3. "Let's change gears to end tuberculosis". Increase the efforts that were being made to accelerate the definitive change.
  4. "United to end tuberculosis". The importance of health organizations and governments working hand in hand to offer solutions in less time.
  5. "United to End Tuberculosis: Leaving No One Behind". Fight to eradicate discrimination and difficulties in receiving treatment.
  6. "Leaders Wanted for a World Free of Tuberculosis". A call for the participation of leaders at different levels in society, with the aim of putting aside differences in favor of eliminating tuberculosis.
  7. "It is time to act". Encourage the preponderance of the now in equal care and treatment.
  8. "It is time to act. Put an end to tuberculosis ". Second call to emphasize that there is no time to lose in the dispute against the disease.

Symptoms of tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in two forms: latent and active. The latent does not manifest itself with symptoms and is not contagious, despite the fact that the bacteria are in the body. However, the risk is that its status changes and becomes activated.

For its part, the active form has a noticeable response from the body and is contagious. The symptoms in this case are numerous, of which we can mention the following:

  • Sustained tiredness
  • Chest pain.
  • Cough with bleeding.
  • Breathing difficulties.
  • Chills and exaggerated sweating.
  • Weight reduction in a short time.

Causes and treatments for tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is caused by bacteria and, therefore, the spread occurs from one body to another. In that order of ideas, the causes are found in the transmission through the air by droplets expelled by the infected and that they reach the person who is free of the pathology.

One of the greatest risk factors is in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), since those who suffer from it have weakened defenses and are prone to tuberculosis.


The treatments last a long time (between 7 and 11 months) and consist of antibiotics, depending on the picture of each patient. The drugs are within the recommendations of the WHO in its guidelines of the Global Program against Tuberculosis.

Therefore, the medicines are the following:

  • Isoniazid (antimycobacterial agent).
  • Rifampicin (antimycobacterial agent).
  • Isoniazid / Rifampicin in combination.
  • Pyrazinamide (antimycobacterial agent).
  • Streptomycin (aminoglycoside antibiotic).
  • Ethambutol (antimycobacterial agent).
  • Thioacetazone / Isoniazid.
  • Ethambutol / Isoniazid.
  • Rifampicin / Isoniazid / Pyrazinamide.

The combination of drugs is the most effective way to reduce mutations and resistance of the bacteria causing the disease.

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How can I contribute to World Tuberculosis Day?

The contribution on World Tuberculosis Day can be marked by shows of support in the networks and from donations. The following can be carried out as a joint action:

  • Enrollment in organizations that provide service to those affected.
  • Show the most effective prevention paths.
  • Participate in days of free services if you belong to the health union.
  • Volunteer for the collection of medicines in the most affected areas.

The final major recommendation to overcome tuberculosis is to complete the long treatment recommended by the specialist, avoiding suspending it when feeling a noticeable improvement.

Also, for those who are going through a picture of active tuberculosis, the ideal is not to leave the home, maintain good ventilation in the rest room, cover the mouth when there is an action with risk of expelling fluids and use a mask if it is unavoidable interact with others.