Every year, March 24 marks World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, an annual campaign led by the WHO to recognize the day in 1882 when the bacterium causing TB was discovered and to raise awareness about TB. The theme for 2023 is: Yes! We can end TB!
On March 24, the City of Winnipeg sign, Esplanade Bridge, Legislative Building and the Convention Centre will be lit up in red to acknowledge World TB Day and to highlight the worldwide commitment to eliminate TB by ensuring equitable access to prevention, treatment and care for this disease.
TB continues to affect millions of people worldwide. In 2021, 1.6 million people died from TB disease and 10.6 million people fell ill from the disease. TB has been the top cause of death due to a single infectious agent every year until it was surpassed by COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021.
In 2022, Manitoba reported 195 individuals newly diagnosed with TB. Although Canada is a low-incidence country, TB disease is inequitably distributed, with newcomer and Indigenous communities continuing to experience a TB burden considerably higher than the overall population.
TB is preventable, treatable, and curable. Early identification and diagnosis of TB are best for positive outcomes. Once diagnosed and receiving treatment, good health care and social supports are key to ensuring patients complete treatment successfully. For further info, please see the following links:
- For general clinical information, see the WRHA Tuberculosis for Health Care Providers page
- The most recent WHO Global Report on TB (2022)
- Government of Canada’s commitment to end Tuberculosis
- An infographic about Tuberculosis in First Nations in Canada
- Read more about the impacts of the pandemic on TB services in Canada in this report by Stop TB Canada
-MNU thanks member Nathan Wilson for contributing this important piece on TB to The Pulse! Nathan has been a nurse in the WRHA for 18 years and has spent the last four years at Public Health TB Services.