Stop TB Partnership

World TB Day 2003

DOTS cured me - it will cure you too!

World TB Day 2003 Highlights [.pdf]

TB continues to kill approximately two million people each year world-wide. The DOTS treatment strategy cures patients, saves lives, prevents the spread of drug resistance and reduces disease transmission. Yet, according to WHO estimates based on 2001 data, only 30% of active TB cases are being diagnosed and treated under DOTS programs. The global targets of 70% case detection and 85% cure rates for those detected must be reached by 2005 in order to halve TB prevalence and deaths by 2010. Accelerating case detection is therefore critical.

World TB Day (WTBD) can play a crucial role in increasing the awareness of various stakeholders on the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of TB, and the importance of effective TB control. It also has the potential to significantly increase case detection rates through education, awareness-building and social mobilization. We can increase the impact of our activities by extending a focused Stop TB campaign beyond World TB Day to the rest of the year.

The objectives for the 2003 communications campaign are to:

  • Educate the general public on the symptoms and treatment of TB;
  • Encourage people to get tested at a DOTS clinic if they have symptoms of TB; and
  • Persuade people to comply fully with the DOTS treatment strategy.

We will work towards achieving these objectives throughout the year with activities building on the World TB Day 2003 theme of "DOTS cured me - It will cure you too!"

Communications Strategy

We know that in many countries the general public is more receptive to hearing TB messages from cured TB patients because they are members of the community who have personal experience with the disease and are living proof that TB can be cured. That is why we believe that cured TB patients make the best TB advocates.

This year’s campaign will therefore focus on transforming cured TB patients into advocates for TB. Giving cured TB patients the authority and the opportunity to tell their stories with the support of TB partners, national programmes and nongovernmental organizations will encourage other potential TB sufferers to come forward to be diagnosed and cured. We will create opportunities for patients to speak at the local, national and global levels.

At the global and national level, we will identify high-profile people as TB ambassadors. Their role will likewise prompt action among people at risk of TB, but will also help overcome the social stigma associated with TB.

The primary target audience for World TB Day and related campaigns in 2003 will be people with TB and the communities in which they live. The secondary audience is policy- and decision-makers, nongovernmental organizations, corporations and other potential partners. Targeting the high-burden countries is a priority, although donor countries will receive information but less campaign development support. TB partners in donor countries will also be encouraged to build new partnerships and work collaboratively.

Key campaign messages:
For high-burden country and regional campaigns:
  • If you have a persistent cough, a fever and night sweats for more than three weeks, you should get tested for TB.
  • Anyone can contract TB, whether rich or poor, young or old, male or female.
  • TB is curable through DOTS, the internationally recommended TB control strategy.
  • DOTS treatment is free through government clinics. (Note: adapt this message as appropriate - i.e. to include private partners who offer DOTS, etc.)
  • If you were cured of TB, your voice is crucial in letting TB patients know!
For global campaign and donor countries:
  • 2003 marks the 10th anniversary of TB being declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). This is the only such emergency ever declared by WHO, and it remains in effect today.
  • According to WHO estimates, by March 2003, 10 million TB patients will have been treated with DOTS, a milestone that will be commemorated on WTBD in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Global Emergency.
  • Two million people die of TB every year, more than ever before in history. Yet TB is curable: DOTS, the internationally recommended treatment strategy, cures patients, saves lives and prevents disease transmission.
  • Only 30% of people infected with TB currently receive DOTS treatment. Increased funding and political commitment is needed to accelerate DOTS expansion and case detection in order to reach global TB control targets by 2005.
10 Years, 10 Million Patients Treated

2003 marks the 10th anniversary of the year TB was declared a global emergency by WHO. It also marks the crossing of a major milestone in modern TB control -- by WTBD 2003, according to WHO estimates, 10 million patients will have been treated under DOTS. This represents an opportunity to plan high-profile events that highlight the success of the DOTS treatment strategy, the urgency for expanding DOTS coverage world-wide, and the need for more technical and financial support from donor countries. In order to capture mass media attention we will:

  • Prepare briefing material for mass media expanding on the theme of 10 million patients being treated by 2003.
  • Plan symbolic events in at least six countries (one country in each WHO region) to commemorate the 10 million patients milestone and televise the occasion of a celebrity/top government official/high-profile former TB patient administering DOTS to a TB patient.
Suggested Activities at the Country Level

Based on the global tactics and using the tools and information provided by the Stop TB Partnership and WHO regional offices, we recommend you develop national, regional and local plans taking into account the following principles:

  • Plan to conduct year-round activities that mobilize patients and other stakeholders as part of ongoing TB activities (e.g. meetings, policy-planning, etc.).
  • Plan to collect stories from cured patients and patients’ groups on their experiences seeking diagnosis, receiving treatment and being cured, based on the themes of "DOTS cured me - It will cure you too!" (January-June) and Overcoming Stigma (July-December).
  • Mobilize and build awareness on World TB Day by:
    • Rallying cured and current patients’ groups
    • Publishing case stories of cured patients
    • Demonstrating the power of DOTS by involving cured patients in events
    • Providing opportunities for cured patients to speak in workshops and seminars
  • Integrate awareness-raising events, activities and products into other planned international, national and local events, such as public health days, TB conferences, World AIDS Day, etc. Continue advocacy and education throughout the year by:
    • Publishing success stories involving patients/patients’ associations working towards TB control
    • Providing opportunities for cured patients to speak in workshops and seminars
    • Arranging forums to talk to patients/patients’ associations about the potential for their involvement in DOTS treatment and TB control.
Top 10 Ideas from World TB Day 2002

Countries in every region of the world planned successful, innovative events and activities for World TB Day in 2002. As you plan for World TB Day 2003, consider trying one or more suggestions from the 2002 Top 10 list, or view the World TB Day 2002 Highlights Report for other good ideas and contact names.

  1. Parades or rallies culminating in entertainment - These appeal to the general public, attract the media and make it easy to disseminate TB information mixed with entertainment to large crowds.
  2. TB poster competitions for children - Contests for the best TB poster on the World TB Day theme were popular tools to reach school children in 2002.
  3. Education for government officials - These highly influential people can make or break a campaign if they don not understand the importance of fighting TB. Target governments in regions where awareness is low and national ministries whose collaboration to stop TB is critical.
  4. Commemorative World TB Day postage stamp - Arrange for your country to create a special postage stamp to mark World TB Day and plan to do this annually.
  5. Radio and television phone-in sessions - Make TB specialists (e.g. from the Ministry of Health, the NTP and other key TB control partners in the country) available on radio and TV so that people can phone in to have their questions answered on air.
  6. Recognition for TB partners and health workers - Sustain the critical efforts of those working to Stop TB by giving awards or other forms of recognition to those working to Stop TB.
  7. New DOTS clinics - Open new DOTS clinics on World TB Day with a ceremony and the presence of high-level government officials, cured TB patients, the media and the general public.
  8. Talking to decision-makers - Meet with community leaders, school principals, and representatives of government ministries - not just Health! - and other decision-makers to discuss collaborative possibilities for TB control.
  9. Lobbying for government funding - Collaborate with other TB partners in a focused campaign to increase government funding for TB control. Inform key government representatives of the issues, brief the media, hold a press conference, organize a letter-writing campaign, publish a paper illustrating the need for funding, and make clear demands.
  10. Food and clothing for lower income TB patients - Hold a drive for food, clothing and other necessities for TB patients and their families who are living in poverty.
Aims of this year's theme

The theme selected for World TB Day 2003 is "People with TB" and the slogan is "DOTS cured me - It will cure you too". The theme has been chosen from over 100 entries submitted for consideration from many sources - health and community care workers, doctors, non-governmental organisations and others with interest in TB. Responses came from all around the world: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Nepal, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Portugal, Sweden, UK and the United States of America, among others.

The theme stresses the need to address the People with TB by involving them as advocates for Global TB control.

The theme supports Case Detection and DOTS expansion, one of the key objectives of the Global Plan to Stop TB launched in 2001, urging stakeholders to accelerate action.

The following are the aims of this year’s theme:

1). To emphasize the role of people with TB and cured patients in DOTS expansion and specifically in increasing case detection. Preliminary estimates of 2001 data indicate that less than 1 in 3 TB cases are being detected and treated under DOTS. Dramatic increases in case detection will be needed to reach the global TB targets for 2005.

2). To 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.

3). To mobilize TB sufferers to demand greater access to DOTS treatment, thereby enabling them to become productive members of their society.

World TB Day 2003 Fact Sheets

English [.pdf], French [.pdf], Spanish [.pdf]