ICT Observes World Tuberculosis Day 2024: Yes, We Can End TB!


Infection Control Today observes World Tuberculous Day 2024 and encourages all infection prevention and control personnel to never give up the fight against this age-old disease.

World Tuberculosis Day 2024  (Adobe Stock 86193106 By K3Star)

World Tuberculosis Day 2024

(Adobe Stock 86193106 By K3Star)

As the global health community gears up to observe World Tuberculosis Day on March 24, 2024, infection prevention personnel play a vital role in raising awareness and combating this persistent infectious disease. Tuberculosis (TB) remains a significant global health threat, with millions of new cases reported each year. Observing World Tuberculosis Day provides a crucial opportunity to highlight the importance of prevention, early detection, and treatment in the fight against TB.

The theme for World Tuberculosis Day 2024 is This year's observance reprises the theme from 2023, "Yes! We Can End TB!" as a nod to the strong momentum of the TB response in many countries, bolstered by the dedication of TB stakeholders worldwide. The Infection prevention personnel’s role in this effort is pivotal.

Here are a few ways infection prevention personnel can actively participate and contribute to World Tuberculosis Day and the throughout the rest of the year:

A Note From Hebah Ibrahim Al Zamel, MSN, CIC, CPHQ, ICT Editorial Advisory Board Member

On this World Tuberculosis Day, let us reflect on the journey we have embarked upon to eradicate this ancient adversary. Tuberculosis, a disease that has shadowed humanity for centuries, remains a formidable challenge, but our resolve to conquer it has never been stronger.

As infection prevention personnel, you are the sentinels at the forefront of this battle. Your vigilance and dedication are the bulwarks protecting countless lives. Today, we honor your unwavering commitment and our progress together.

This year's theme for World Tuberculosis Day is a clarion call to action: “Yes! We can end TB.” It embodies our collective optimism and the belief that we can triumph over TB with concerted efforts and innovative strategies.

Let us harness this day to amplify awareness, to educate communities, and to advocate for those affected. Remember, every test conducted, every treatment administered, and every life saved is a step closer to a world free of Tuberculosis.

Here is a thought to carry in our hearts: “In the symphony of global health, each of us plays a vital note. When harmonized, we can compose a melody of healing and hope that resonates beyond borders, bringing forth a dawn where Tuberculosis is but a whisper of the past.”

Several common misconceptions about Tuberculosis (TB) can hinder effective prevention and treatment. Here are a few, along with the facts:

Myth: Everyone with TB is infectious. Fact: Only people with active TB symptoms can transmit the infection. Those with latent TB cannot spread the disease.

Myth: TB is a genetic disease. Fact: TB is not inherited genetically. The bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes it and spreads through airborne droplets from person to person2.

Myth: Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is incurable. Fact: MDR-TB can be treated and cured with specific drugs and proper medical care.

On this day, let us renew our pledge to dream of a TB-free world and act with conviction and compassion to realize it. To all my fellow health care warriors, let your actions be guided by knowledge, your path illuminated by innovation, and your spirit uplifted by the bonds of our shared humanity. Together, we are stronger, and together, we will end TB.

Hebah Al Zamel


  • Raise Awareness: Spread awareness through your platforms and educate health care staff, patients, and the community about its signs, symptoms, and prevention measures. Promote early diagnosis and treatment.
  • Advocate for TB Screening: Encourage the implementation of regular TB screening protocols in health care facilities, especially for high-risk populations, and provide access to TB testing and diagnostic services in underserved communities.
  • Promote Infection Control Measures: Since TB is an airborne disease, infection control practices are crucial. Ensure that health care facilities have proper ventilation systems, urge the use of proper personal protective equipment, and educate staff on infection prevention protocols.
  • Support TB Patients: Because patients diagnosed with TB often face stigma and discrimination, advocate for compassionate care and support services for TB patients, including mental health resources.
  • Collaborate with Partners: Work with local health departments, nongovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders to develop and implement TB prevention and treatment programs. Collaboration can increase efforts and reach a broader audience.
  • Organize Awareness Events: Engage health care professionals and the community by hosting webinars, workshops, or informational sessions. Share best practices, success stories, and the latest advancements in TB prevention and treatment during these events.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) posted their NIAID Strategic Plan for Tuberculosis Research. According to the NIAD, “Tuberculosis is a disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. As many as two billion people worldwide live with latent M. tuberculosis infections, which have a 5-10% chance of developing into active disease over a person’s lifetime. The World Health Organization estimates that 10.6 million people developed active TB in 2022, of whom 1.3 million were children, and 1.3 million people died from the disease.”

NIAID continues, saying the CDC, “estimates that up to 13 million people are living with latent M tuberculosis, and that 8,331 people developed active TB in 2022, representing a 5.9% increase over 2021 numbers and the second consecutive year of increasing TB incidence. There were 602 TB-related deaths in the United States in 2021, the most recent year for which data are available. TB affects the entire world, but more than 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Drug-resistant TB accounts for about one in three of all antimicrobial resistance-related deaths globally.”

Studies continue to be done and published on TB. One recent study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases said that more than 80% of the people in Africa and Asia with culture-confirmed pulmonary tuberculosis do not have the most commonly associated symptoms of the disease. This kind of TB is called “subclinical pulmonary tuberculosis.”

This study’s results show that in the community, many individuals with pulmonary tuberculosis don't exhibit a cough, and a significant portion, about a quarter, show no symptoms suggestive of tuberculosis at all. Shockingly, even among those without a cough, a quarter may have positive sputum smears, indicating infectiousness. This suggests that in areas with high tuberculosis rates, subclinical tuberculosis might significantly add to the disease burden and Mycobacterium tuberculosis transmission.

By actively participating in World TB Day 2024, infection prevention personnel significantly impact the fight against TB. Together, let's invest in ending TB, saving lives, and creating a healthier, TB-free world for all. Join the global movement on March 24 and let your voice be heard in the fight against tuberculosis.

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