Today is World TB Day 2015!
World TB Day, falling on March 24th each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains an epidemic in much of the world, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries. It commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. 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 towards diagnosing and curing TB.
Tuberculosis is on the rise again. There has not been much advancement in this field over the last few decades. Much of the drugs used to treat TB remains the same. Of concern is the rise of multidrug resistant tuberculosis. The long duration of treatment and side effects of the antibiotics contributes to non adherence to treatment. There has to be a lot of resources poured into the DOTS(Directly Observed Therapy, Short Course) strategy. Many underdeveloped countries, where tuberculosis is most rampant, is unable to provide.
Perhaps on this World Tuberculosis Day, we can generate some interest and support for tuberculosis research. This menace is not going away and neglecting it may be a folly the human race will regret in the future.