Tripura observes World TB Day

Like other states across the country, on Friday Tripura also observed the World Tuberculosis Day to raise public awareness about the disease. As a part of the observance, a colourful awareness rally with participation of doctors, health workers and students was organized in the city.

Interacting with media persons Mayor of Agartala Municipal Corporation Dipak Majumder said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi India has taken many new initiatives in the global fight against TB. Continuous efforts of the government along with the strength of public participation has resulted in reducing the number of TB patients in the country. 80 percent of the drugs used in TB treatment are being made in India. The number of labs has been increased and the patients have been brought under the ambit of the Ayushman Bharat scheme, he added.

World Tuberculosis Day, falling on March 24 each year, is designed to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis and efforts to eliminate the disease.

March 24 commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing to a small group of scientists at the University of Berlin's Institute of Hygiene that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. According to Koch’s colleague, Paul Ehrlich, “At this memorable session, Koch appeared before the public with an announcement which marked a turning-point in the story of a virulent human infectious disease. In clear, simple words Koch explained the etiology of tuberculosis with convincing force, presenting many of his microscope slides and other pieces of evidence.” At the time of Koch's announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch's discovery opened the way toward diagnosing and curing tuberculosis.

In 1982, on the one-hundredth anniversary of Robert Koch's presentation, the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) proposed that March 24 be proclaimed an official World TB Day. This was part of a year-long centennial effort by the IUATLD and the World Health Organization (WHO) under the theme “Defeat TB: Now and forever.” World TB Day was not officially recognized as an annual occurrence by WHO World Health Assembly and the United Nations until over a decade later.

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