World TB Day is March 24th, 2009


March 24, 2009


 PRESS RELEASE 03/24/2009 | For Immediate Release


Help Fight the Spread of Tuberculosis!  

by Arjumand Thompson


Dear Subscribers -  

From Photoshare_ThinkTB_2007RadhaKulkarniHuman TB, or Tuberculosis, is a highly-infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. TB kills almost 2 million people globally each year and is second only to HIV as the leading cause of death from an infectious agent. Spread by sneezing, coughing, and even talking, bacteria inhaled in the form of airborne droplets from infected people causes damage to the lungs and other parts of the body. Most people are immune to TB; those with compromised immune systems are most at risk. TB is curable but also highly-contagious if not treated early. 

Many high-income countries have seen incidence rates of TB slowly decline or at least remain stable. But Eastern Europe —particularly the former Soviet republics—and some low-income regions have experienced sharp increases in the number of cases reported. Of new cases diagnosed worldwide, approximately 12 percent were also suffering from HIV infection. Africa has the highest incidence rate with approximately 345 cases per 100,000 people annually, and Asia carries the greatest burden of disease. China, Indonesia, and countries in South Asia account for half of all new cases annually. The increase in drug resistance to anti-TB medication has contributed to the striking increase in the former Soviet republics. 

Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), or the more serious extensively drug resistant TB (XDR-TB), may develop in people when TB infections, in response to non-compliance with required drug and treatment schedules, stop responding to the most common (or all) anti-TB drugs. Because of this, new, more creative, and possibly less cost-effective treatment methods must be developed to reduce infections and deaths from tuberculosis. 

The news that TB is still on the rise globally may seem bleak, but only tells one side of the story and may even exacerbate the severity of the problem. In fact, there is good news—TB is actually relatively rare among infectious diseases. Although tuberculosis has increased in many regions of the world, the global TB epidemic that was once seen throughout the 1990’s is on the decline. Why? Simple, cost-effective interventions for prevention and treatment are readily available. Anti-TB drugs treat latent and active TB infections in those coinfected with HIV; The BCG vaccine immunizes children against TB and is first-line defense against their contracting the severest forms of the disease; and the highly effective DOTS strategy combines accurate diagnosis, SCC (short-course chemotherapy) drugs, and observation to cure more than 90 percent of the most infectious forms and active cases of TB.

he global incidence rate is rising but more and more slowly every year, mainly due to the success of direct intervention and TB control programs.

This March 24th, join DCPP on World TB Day to put the spotlight on tuberculosis and infectious disease control programs.

Visit the sites below to see some organizations around the world that are helping to fight the spread of tuberculosis on World TB Day 2009. 

World TB Day 2009 Around The World

Stop TB Partnership - WHO

Africa: All Africa – Uganda: Stop Tuberculosis | New Vision Online

Asia: The India Post | Ministry of Public Health - Afghanistan

DCPP has developed several technical resources to address this important issue. Visit to find out more. 

TB and Infectious Disease

Tuberculosis DCPP Fact sheet

Drug Resistance Fact Sheet DCPP Fact sheet

Infectious Diseases DCPP Fact sheet

Breathing Easier: Preventing Chronic Respiratory Diseases in Adults DCPP Fact sheet

Catching their breath: Communities take on tuberculosis in Latin America - by Eliza Barclay

Reducing Adult Deaths From Chronic Diseases in Asia: Evidence and Opportunities - by Prabhat Jha and Ian Anderson

Tuberculosis Disease and Cost Effective Control Strategies In Resource Poor Countries by Dr. Adallah S. Ochieng

DCP2 Tuberculosis Supplementary Material (Chapter 16 Annex)

Controlling tuberculosis in China

The economic burden of illness for households: A review of cost of illness and coping strategy studies focusing on malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS

DCP Chapter 16: Tuberculosis

DCP Chapter 55: Drug Resistance

DCP Chapter 25: Acute Respiratory Infections in Children

DCP Chapter 35: Respiratory Diseases of Adults


Arjumand Thompson is a Program Associate with the Disease Control Priorities Project.



Related Disease/Condition:
Respiratory Diseases
Respiratory Infections


Arjumand Thompson
+1 (202) 939-5486



Sign up to receive periodic email updates from DCPP