LAHORE - Like other parts of the globe, World Tuberculosis Day was observed across the country including Lahore on Saturday for raising public awareness about the menace.

Since 1997, World Tuberculosis Day is observed on March 24 under different theme every year to raise awareness about the burden of TB and the status of prevention and care efforts.

The theme of World TB Day 2018 - “Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world”- focuses on building commitment to end TB, not only at the political level with Heads of State and Ministers of Health, but at all levels from Mayors, Governors, parliamentarians and community leaders, to people affected with TB, civil society advocates, health workers, doctors or nurses, NGOs and other partners. All can be leaders of efforts to end TB in their own work or terrain. World TB Day provides the platform for affected persons and communities, civil society organizations, health-care providers, policy makers, development partners and others to advocate, discuss and plan further collaboration to fulfil the promise of reaching all people with quality TB prevention and care services, as well as enabling TB prevention through multisectoral development efforts.

Workshops, free medical camps and walks were organised both at the government and private level to renew the pledge of using all resources to eradicate the menace of TB.

Currently Tuberculosis causes the deaths of about 1.7 million people each year, mostly in the developing countries. 24th March actually commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch discovered the TB Mycobacterium Tuberculosis that actually causes the disease. The discovery opened the way toward diagnosing and curing tuberculosis.

TB is the ninth leading cause of death worldwide and the leading cause from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS. Over 25% of TB deaths occur in the African Region. The emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) poses a major health security threat and could risk gains made in the fight against TB.

In his message on on World TB Day, the CM said purpose of marking this day is to raise public awareness about treatment and safety from this disease.  He said complete elimination of TB, along with best facilities of treatment, is included in governmental priorities.  “The TB patients are provided free facilities including diagnostic, treatment and medicines in government hospitals so that they could be fully cured.  Vaccination is necessary for remaining safe from this contagious disease, adding that health experts should adopt effective steps to overcome this disease.