I am Stopping TB, are you?
Each year on March 24th, ‘World Tuberculosis Day’ is observed in 22 countries including Pakistan to commemorate the day in 1882 when Nobel Prize winner Dr. Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. TB is as old as mankind and is the No. 1 infectious killer of adults in the world. While this disease is relatively subdued in the more developed countries, the number of people killed in other countries is alarming and mind boggling.The slogan for the day this year is “I Am Stopping TB”. The slogan is reflecting the reality that every one of us, the health leaders, the health workers, the patients, the family, and the community members has a role to do to stop TB.
The main objective of celebrating this day is to educate and inspire people to adopt a healthier lifestyle to prevent and cure Tuberculosis, “The Forgotten Killer” and achieve a happier and more productive life. As Tuberculosis or TB is curable with six-to-nine months treatment. But unfortunately it has been reported in Punjab, Pakistan that TB patients donot complete their treatment >>> unaware of the fact that it may then develop drug-resistant strains that take up to two years to treat with second-line drugs, often with severe side-effects. Some resistant strains are untreatable with any existing antibiotics.
According to a report one-third of the world’s population is currently infected with TB. About 60,000 TB patients die annually in Pakistan alone and another 2,00,000 are added to the number each year.
And now is the right time for all of us to unite and help WHO in spreading awareness how to prevent and cure this disease by organizing events, raising funds or by simply taking our prescribed medicine on time.