Published on: March 25, 2023

World Tuberculosis Day

World Tuberculosis Day

Why in news? On World TB Day 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will addressed the One World TB Summit ,presenting the number of initiatives.


  • World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on March 24 to raise awareness about Tuberculosis, a serious respiratory infection.

What is Tuberculosis?

  • Tuberculosis (TB) a serious infection of the lungs is caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, that spreads through tiny droplets released in the air when one coughs or sneezes.

What is the theme for the year ?

  • The theme for World Tuberclusis Day 2023 is “Yes! We can end TB!”.

What is the History and significance for the day ?

  • The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
  • In the 1700s, TB was called “the white plague” due to the pale appearance of the patients. According to CDC, tuberculosis had different names in different civilizations.
  • TB was called “phthisis” in ancient Greece, “tabes” in ancient Rome, and “schachepheth” in ancient Hebrew.

How many TB cases are detected each year in India?

  • Although India continues to be the largest contributor to global TB cases, there has been a decline in the number of cases in 2021, although it didn’t reach the pre-pandemic levels.
  • India accounts for 28% of all TB cases in the world, according to the Global TB Report 2022.

What are the initiatives taken by the government to eradicate TB?

  • Although elimination of Tuberculosis is one of the sustainable development targets to be achieved by 2030 by the world, India has set the target of 2025.
  • The government has taken several steps including looking for cases actively among vulnerable and co-morbid populations, screening for it at the health and wellness centres, and calling on the private sector to notify all TB cases.
  • An online Ni-kshay portal has been set up to track the notified TB cases.
  • The pandemic has led to improved access to the more accurate molecular diagnostic tests like CB-NAAT and TureNat that were also used to test for Covid-19
  • The government has also implemented a universal drug susceptibility test, meaning that antibiotic susceptibility of the mycobacterium is determined for all newly diagnosed cases.
  • The government also launched the community engagement programme where Ni-kshay mitras can adopt TB patients and provide them monthly nutritional support.
  • Newer drugs such as Bedaquiline and Delamanid for the treatment of drug-resistant TB have been included in the government’s basket of drugs provided free TB patients
  • During One World TB Summit in Varanasi, the Prime Minister launched various initiatives including the TB-Mukt Panchayat initiative, the official pan-India rollout of a shorter TB Preventive Treatment (TPT), the Family-centric care model for TB and the release of India’s Annual TB Report 2023.
  • Pradhan Mantri TB Mukt Bharat Abhiyan has been envisioned to bring together all community stakeholders to support those on TB treatment and accelerate the country’s progress towards TB elimination.

Although India continues to be the largest contributor to global TB cases, there has been a decline in the number of cases in 2021. How India plans to achieve its target of eliminating tuberculosis by 2025?