World TB Day is celebrated on March 24 each year to raise public awareness and understanding about the world’s deadliest infectious killer -tuberculosis (TB) and it’s the devastating health, social and economic impact on people around the world.
March 24 marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
However, TB still claims 4,100 people's lives each day and close to 27,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. The emergence of drug-resistant TB poses a major health threat that could put at risk the gains made to end the global TB epidemic. World TB Day is an opportunity to focus on the people affected by this disease and to call for accelerated action to end TB suffering and deaths.
According to a press release from the Government of Belize Press Office, For the Belize context, in 2019 a total of 91 new cases of TB were diagnosed, 30 females and 61 males, 16 having a co-infection with HIV. The age groups most affected were between the ages of 20-59 years, following the same trend as seen in previous years. There were 15 deaths in 2019 which represents a 16.5% mortality rate.