WHO Europe and the European Parliament mark World TB Day 2013

Under the patronage of Glenis Willmott MEP, member of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee of European Parliament, WHO/Europe will be hosting a photo exhibition at the European Parliament in Brussels on the occasion of World Tuberculosis Day 2013 (WTBD). The "Faces of Tuberculosis" photo exhibition will be officially opened on 20 March 2013 at 18:30 followed by key note speeches and a reception. During the event the WHO/ECDC 2013 surveillance report will also be launched. The exhibition will be open to Members of European Parliament and invited guests until 22 March 2013. Selected works will be made available on the website of WHO/Europe shortly afterwards.

Context of World TB Day (WTBD)

World TB Day annually commemorates the discovery of the tuberculosis (TB) bacterium (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) by Dr Robert Koch in 1882. Falling on 24 March each year, the event should raise awareness among the public and policy makers that tuberculosis remains an epidemic in most parts of the world, and a public health problem in developed countries, causing the deaths of about two million people each year. Koch's discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB. Although significant advances have been made to date, much remains to be done. TB diagnosis can be difficult; treatment is lengthy; and drugs and vaccines are outdated.

2013 is the second year of a two-year campaign for WTBD, with the slogan “Stop TB in My Lifetime”.

The most up-to-date facts and figures about TB in the WHO European Region will be released in the new joint WHO/ECDC 2013 TB surveillance report on 20 March.