World TB Day 2023, with the theme 'Yes! We can end TB!', aims to inspire hope and encourage high-level leadership, increased investments, faster uptake of new WHO recommendations, adoption of innovations, accelerated action, and multisectoral collaboration to combat the TB epidemic.
This year is critical, with opportunities to raise visibility and political commitment at the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB. The spotlight of World TB Day will be on urging countries to ramp up progress in the lead-up to the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB. WHO will also issue a call to action with partners urging Member States to accelerate the rollout of the new WHO-recommended shorter all-oral treatment regimens for drug-resistant TB.
World TB Day is observed annually on March 24 to raise awareness about TB and efforts to end the global epidemic, marking the day in 1882 when the bacterium causing TB was discovered.
Ending TB requires concerted action by all sectors
To provide the right services, and support and enable a safe environment in the right place, at the right time. TB is mainly concentrated in settings beset by poverty and other social and economic challenges and in the most vulnerable populations. Poverty, undernourishment, poor living, and working conditions, among others, affect how people fall ill, develop TB and cope with the demands of treatment (including medical, financial, and social), and influence the health outcomes they face. Thus, progress in combating TB and its drivers cannot be achieved by the health system alone and requires firm political commitment at the highest level, strong multisectoral collaboration (beyond health), and an effective accountability system.
Tackling health inequities to ensure health for all
The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the deep disparities that persist between and within countries. People with TB are among the most marginalized and vulnerable, facing barriers to accessing care. WHO is calling for global action to address health inequities for people with TB and other diseases.
Urgent investment of resources, support, care, and information are vital to ensure universal access to TB care for research
This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and ongoing conflict and socioeconomic crises, that have 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. More investments towards supporting the rollout of WHO-recommended TB preventive treatment options, shorter TB treatment regimens, rapid molecular diagnostics and tests for TB infection, and other innovations and digital tools will lead to improvements in health outcomes and save millions of lives. Importantly, investments in research and innovation are vital to fast-track efforts to reach the end TB targets.
Here's a short introduction to tuberculosis (TB), one of the world's top infectious killers: