World TB Day: Quizzing the People of Yangon

To mark World TB Day, the “End TB Together” Facebook page went out on the streets of Yangon, Myanmar, to quiz the public about their knowledge of tuberculosis (TB) symptoms, transmission risks and treatment. Find out how they did!

The theme of this year’s World TB Day is “Yes! We can end TB.” TB is a bacterial infection spread through tiny droplets from the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. It is one of the world’s deadliest diseases but can be cured with proper treatment.​ In 2022, 10.6 million people fell ill with TB and 1.3 million people died of the disease. In recent years, there has been a worrying increase in drug-resistant TB.

Myanmar is one of 30 countries identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having a high burden of TB, HIV-associated TB, and TB drug resistance. The WHO estimates that the number of people who had TB in Myanmar rose by more than a third from 194,000 in 2021 to 257,000 in 2022. Estimated deaths from TB in Myanmar also rose nearly 40% from 36,000 in 2021 to nearly 50,000 in 2022. According to the National TB Prevalence Survey (2018), the Yangon Region has the highest TB burden nationally.

World TB Day is an opportunity to accelerate action to end TB. Crucial to these efforts are public awareness and access to timely, affordable health care. Civil society organizations play a vital role in Myanmar and worldwide in raising awareness of TB, identifying suspected cases, and connecting people to care.

The USAID HIV/TB Agency, Information and Services (AIS) Activity aims to achieve HIV epidemic control by ensuring 95 percent of people living with HIV in Burma are aware of their status, 95 percent of those identified as positive are on antiretroviral treatment, and 95 percent of those on treatment are virally suppressed. It also aims to achieve a Burma free from TB by reaching every person with TB, curing those in need of treatment, and preventing the spread of disease and new infections. It is funded by PEPFAR and the Global Accelerator to End TB through USAID.