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World Tuberculosis Day 2012

A patient with tuberculosis sits on a bed in 'Tuberculosis Village,' a separate health facility at a clinic run by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, in the town of Nasir in southeastern Sudan. Along with malaria, tuberculosis is one of the lead

TB is thus a top-priority target of global health programs around the world.

The United States observes World Tuberculosis Day on March 24th, a date designated by the World Health Organization to commemorate Dr. Robert Koch's 1882 discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, or TB.

The majority of TB deaths occur in the developing world, where the disease is closely linked to poverty, marginalized and vulnerable populations, substandard housing, and poor nutrition.

Despite the availability of effective treatment for many decades, in 2010 there were an estimated 8.8 million TB cases and 1.45 million deaths, including among people living with HIV, for whom TB is the most common cause of death. TB is thus a top-priority target of global health programs around the world.

The Global Stop TB Partnership is an umbrella organization of nearly 1000 partners around the globe. It includes foundations, non-governmental organizations, private sector companies, universities and academic institutions, multilateral organizations, and governments, including that of the United States.

Within the next 3 years, the Stop TB Partnership seeks to cut TB’s prevalence and death rates by 50 percent from 1990 levels. By 2050, the Partnership aims to reduce TB’s global incidence to less than 1 case per million people.

Through its Global Health Initiative, the United States seeks to harness the power of improved vaccines, scientific advances, and more accurate diagnosis at the site of care to achieve dramatic improvements in quality of life. Through conducting biomedical research, delivering essential health services to developing countries, and strengthening global TB surveillance and treatment capacity, the United States demonstrates its continuing commitment to improving human welfare by controlling TB worldwide.