World TB Day commemorates Dr Robert Koch's first announcement on March 24, 1882, that the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis is the causative agent of tuberculosis. Currently, the event comprises of several conferences, meetings and activities held all over the world with the singular intention of raising public awareness about the global health emergency.
In spite of having discovered the etiological agent of tuberculosis more than a century ago, a sizeable population still contract the disease every year and fall prey to it. In 2012, an estimated 8.6 million people developed the disease with 1.3 million succumbing to it. The number of TB deaths in children is unacceptably large given that most are preventable. However, the challenge appears to be shifting toward attempts to control the rise and spread of the drug resistant variants of the microbe. To achieve this, a concerted effort from academia, clinical practice, and industry has been put forth.
The TB Summit 2014 attempted to raise awareness as well as bring together experts involved in different aspects of tuberculosis research to help establish a more collective approach to battle this age-old disease.