‘It’s time to end TB’ is the theme for World TB Day 2020, celebrated on March 24 each year to highlight the global epidemic of tuberculosis and the efforts made to eliminate the disease.
This year, the focus has broadened to include COVID-19 and the need to acknowledge the isolation, stigma and challenges presented by epidemics, and the importance of recognising that people with TB are especially vulnerable at this time.
Years of underinvestment have made tuberculosis and its drug-resistant forms the world’s deadliest infectious killer.
Each day more than 4000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.
Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 58 million lives since the year 2000.
‘It’s time’ – puts the accent on the urgency to act on the commitments made by global leaders to:
- Scale up access to prevention & treatment
- Ensure sufficient & sustainable financing including for research
- Promote equitable, rights-based & people-centred TB response
- Promote an end to stigma & discrimination
- Build accountability
This year, 23 local councils throughout Australia will be lighting up significant buildings to shine a red light on the global TB crisis and the need to stop it in its tracks.
From Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne Town Halls to Convention Centres in Darwin and Devonport, significant monuments around the country will be lit in solidarity with the Global Light Up Red for TB Campaign.
March 24 marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, opening the way towards diagnosing and curing the disease.
Find out more about Burnet’s TB research, or contribute to our Campaign to STOP TB.