This year's World TB Day was held on March 24, 2002 and carried the theme, "Stop TB, Fight Poverty." This year's theme stressed that tackling TB, one of several illnesses that affect the poor, is a leading way to achieve greater global prosperity.
Specifically, this year's goals were to:
- Emphasize the link between TB and poverty. TB is the top cause of avoidable death in poor countries. It is estimated that only 1 in 4 TB cases receives DOTS treatment, the poor.
- Increase resources for country plans to stop TB. DOTS expansion is critical if we are to reach global TB targets for 2005 and if we are to attack poverty "head on". 17 of the 22 High TB Burden countries are low-income countries.
- Raise awareness among political leaders, decision-makers and opinion leaders around the world about the implications of TB, especially on the economy, and the fact that there is no excuse for inaction in the face of an available, cost-effective cure.
- Mobilize TB sufferers and vulnerable groups to demand greater access to treatment, thereby enabling them to become productive members of their society.
As part of the World TB Day events, the World Health Organization (WHO) also released its 2002 Global Tuberculosis Control Report.
The sixth annual report on global TB control includes data on case notifications and treatment outcomes from all national control programmes that have reported to WHO, together with an analysis of plans, finances, and constraints on DOTS expansion for 22 high-burden countries (HBC).