World TB Day – 24 March

World TB Day, which is observed on 24 March every year, is designed to raise public awareness regarding the epidemic of TB (tuberculosis) and the efforts made to eliminate the disease. These endeavours aim to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, but with a united effort, the global TB epidemic can be halted.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the theme of World TB Day 2021 is – ‘The Clock is Ticking’ – and this conveys the sense that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments to end TB made by global leaders. This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put “End TB” progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.

TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers. Each day, nearly 4000 people lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 63 million lives since the year 2000.

Tuberculosis is curable, but effective care involves long-term treatment plans comprising the use of multiple drugs. The South African government aims to help eradicate the epidemic by offering free TB testing and treatment at clinics throughout the country.

Pulmonary tuberculosis is a condition that qualifies for Prescribed Minimum Benefits (PMBs) and, therefore, Medical aid schemes could cover hospital admissions and treatment where applicable. Speak to a Glopin Healthcare Consultant should you or a loved one fighting against TB need the advice to see if your medical plan can support your journey to recovery.