Steps Towards a World Free of Tuberculosis YES! WE CAN END TB!

The World Health Organization (WHO) chose "YES! WE CAN END TB!" as the theme for this year’s World Tuberculosis Day, which falls on March 24, to unify international efforts to end tuberculosis (TB) and achieve the goal of eradicating tuberculosis by 2035. In response to World Tuberculosis Day, the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control (Taiwan CDC) held a press conference called "YES! WE CAN" on March 24, declaring its intent to combat TB through coordinated efforts. The press conference was held to enhance public awareness about TB and its prevention and control measures.

Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Chou Jih-haw said that, thanks to the concerted efforts of public health, medical care, the private sector, and multiple ministries to prevent and control TB, Taiwan’s TB incidence rate of new cases has decreased from 73 cases per 100,000 people in 2005 to about 28 cases per 100,000 population in 2022, a cumulative decrease of 62%. To accelerate the decline in TB incidence rate, early detection and intervention of suspected TB, as well as expanding detection and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) to prevent the occurrence of TB, will be prioritized in the post-pandemic era. Taiwan CDC will maintain its close collaboration with ministries, relevant offices and departments, local governments, medical institutions, and private groups in order to combat the disease. Taiwan CDC will continue to work with them to actively introduce new diagnostic or testing technologies and methods, and use digital technology to carry out a range of TB prevention and control initiatives, thereby safeguarding public health and safety. 
Chairman Wang Jann-Yuan of the Taiwan Society of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease explained that TB is spread through air and droplets, and an infected individual has a 5-10% chance of developing the disease. When the individual's immune system is strong, the individual will not develop TB. This is called latent TB infection. An individual with LTBI has no symptoms and is not contagious. However, if the individual’s immune system becomes compromised, TB bacteria can become active and cause transmission. The public is urged to pay attention to environmental ventilation, maintain a healthy lifestyle, strengthen their immune system, and observe good hygiene practices and cough etiquette. If a test shows LTBI, seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid developing TB.

Chang Feng-Shu, the host of a health program, shared that she began to learn about TB while shooting scenes  in which her character coughed up blood and said she had TB. Chang later discovered that TB infects not only the lungs but also other parts of the body. She reminded people with LTBI of the importance of undergoing LTBI treatment, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and seeking medical attention immediately if symptoms develop in order to protect their health.

According to Taiwan CDC, roughly 6,000 individuals are diagnosed with TB annually in Taiwan. People are reminded to seek medical attention for early diagnosis and treatment if they experience symptoms, such as a persistent cough for more than two weeks, phlegm, chest pain, weight loss, loss of appetite, and fever. TB can be cured by taking medication regularly for a period of six to nine months to protect the health of both the patient and their loved ones.

To increase public awareness of TB, Taiwan CDC has launched an online quiz game called "Disease Control Butler’s TB Classroom" on its official LINE account with a lucky draw. The public is encouraged to participate in this event and World Tuberculosis Day activities. For more information on TB, please visit Taiwan CDC's website (, Taiwan CDC’s official Line account or call the toll-free Communicable Disease Reporting and Consultation Hotline, 1922 (or 0800-001922).