Carillon and Questacon 'Light Up Red' for World Tuberculosis Day
Tonight, Friday 24 March, the National Carillon and Questacon will light up red to honour World Tuberculosis (TB) Day.
World TB Day is recognised by lighting up buildings around the world red, to show solidarity and remember the millions that lose their lives to TB each year.
TB is a leading cause of death worldwide, with 1.6 million people dying of the disease in 2021.
It was the world’s number-one infectious disease killer prior to COVID-19, and progress fighting the disease has been adversely affected by the pandemic.
TB is preventable and curable, with treatment saving 74 million lives since 2000.
However, global funding is short of what is required to meet the targets to end TB.
Australia has already made a number of investments to prevent and treat TB, having committed $266 million to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria last year.
In 2018, members of the United Nations, including Australia, came together to hold the first High-Level Meeting on TB and committed to end TB by 2030.
In September this year, the world will come together again to review progress.
“Tuberculosis is a prolific infectious disease that devastates the most vulnerable, including in our own backyard. Just this month, a TB outbreak was reported in the APY Lands. Our neighbour PNG sees thousands of people die annually,” said Results International (Australia) CEO, Negaya Chorley.
“The progress we were making in reducing TB cases and deaths over the years has been derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, as TB infections have gone undetected and unmanaged. Now, for the first time in more than a decade, TB deaths are on the rise.
“The same global concerted momentum to tackle COVID-19 must be applied to ending TB,” said Ms Chorley.
“Australia must play a greater role in ending TB. Given the Asia Pacific region is home to the majority of TB cases, and the cutting-edge scientific research that takes place in universities and institutes across the country, we are well placed to lead the charge in addressing TB.”