On this day in 1882, Dr. Robert Koch discovered a deadly pathogen—Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the airborne bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB) and is the cause of more than 1.5 million deaths each year—that’s 4,000 deaths each day, three people every minute.
The saddest fact about those deaths is that TB is preventable and curable. That’s why today, on World TB Day, we are calling on our Global Moms Challenge Community around the world to help us raise awareness and funding for TB—which kills more women than all other causes of maternal mortality combined.
Thanks to organizations including the World Health Organization, the Stop TB Partnership, and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the mortality rate for TB fell by 45 percent between 1990 and 2013. But, there are still an estimated 9 million new cases of TB every year, or approximately 24,000 new cases every day. One-third of those cases are missed – not diagnosed, not treated, or not reported. Among those missed are those who are at the same time most vulnerable – women and children, the very poor or malnourished, prisoners, minors, indigenous populations, the elderly, and people living with HIV.
Today, let’s raise our voices even louder to unite to end TB! Here’s what you need to know and how you can help.
- The World Health Organization’s End TB Strategy calls for ending TB by 2030. Help spread the word by posting a photo of yourself on Twitter or Facebook with the End TB card telling the world to UNITE TO END TB!
- The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria provides 80% of all global TB funding and has tested and treated 15 million people with TB since 2002. One of those people is Louie Zepeda, who was diagnosed at age 24 with multi-drug resistant TB. Watch and share her story.
Tweet me: 500,000 ppl develop hard-to-treat multidrug-resistant #TB each yr – Louie is 1 of them. Watch here:
- The Stop TB Partnership is a collective force of 1300 partners transforming the fight against TB in more than 100 countries. Join their #UniteToEndTB Campaign or donate toward TB efforts—$30 can cure a person with TB.
- Join the conversation online (#WorldTBDay, #EndTB, #UnitedtoEndTB) with some sample tweets below:
- #DYK tuberculosis is curable and still kills 3 people each minute? Join the #UnitetoEndTB campaign http://www.stoptb.org/events/world_tb_day/2016/whatcanido.asp via @StopTB
- #DYK More women die of TB annually than of all causes of maternal mortality combined? #UnitetoEndTB http://www.stoptb.org/events/world_tb_day/2016/ via @StopTB
- #DYK in 2014, 500,000 people developed the much harder to treat Multidrug-resistant TB? #UnitetoEndTB http://www.stoptb.org/events/world_tb_day/2016/ via @StopTB
Lead photo of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meeting a tuberculosis (TB) patient during their visit to the Institute of Respiratory Medicine in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on World TB Day in 2012. Photograph by UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe