World Tuberculosis Day 2022: Date, theme, history, significance of the day

By | Edited by Parmita Uniyal
Mar 24, 2022 08:33 AM IST

World Tuberculosis Day is observed every year on March 24 to raise awareness about the infectious disease. Know all about the date, theme, history and significance of the day.

Tuberculosis (TB) a serious infection of the lungs is caused by a bacterium that spreads through tiny droplets released in the air when one coughs or sneezes. While the term tuberculosis was coined by Johann Schonlein in 1834, it is believed that the infection has been around for 3 million years, accordig to CDC. (Also read: Is it Covid-19 or tuberculosis? How to differentiate between the symptoms)

World Tuberculosis Day 2022(Instagram)
World Tuberculosis Day 2022(Instagram)

In the 1700s, TB was called “the white plague” due to the pale appearance of the patients. It was on March 24, 1882 that the bacteria causing TB was discovered by Dr. Robert Koch. A century later, the World TB Day observance began on the same day. On World Tuberculosis Day, here's a look at theme of the year and its history and signifance.

Many people infected with the bacterium that causes TB do not show symptoms. Symptomatic people complain of cough that lasts for more two or three weeks, cough up blood or thick mucus, experience night sweats, feel fatigued or weak, lose weight and appetite, have fever among other symptoms.

Date and significance

World TB Day is observed every year on March 24 to raise awareness about the infectious disease and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. On this day in 1882, Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes tuberculosis.


"The theme of World TB Day 2022 - ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives.’ conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve 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," according to WHO (World Health Organization).


According to CDC, tuberculosis is around 3 million years old and had different names in different civilizations. TB was called “phthisis” in ancient Greece, “tabes” in ancient Rome, and “schachepheth” in ancient Hebrew. TB was also known as “consumption” in the 1800s. During the Middle Ages, TB of the neck and lymph nodes was called “scofula.” Scofula was believed to be a different disease from TB in the lungs.

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