Manly Town Hall was lit up red to mark World Tuberculosis Day.

For the fourth year in a row, Manly Town Hall at Belgrave Street, Manly, joined dozens of buildings around Australia, and hundreds around the world, to light up red for World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on Friday, 24 March.

When Manly Town Hall was first lit up red to mark World TB Day in March 2020, the COVID pandemic was taking hold and Sydney was just about to enter its first lockdown. Consequently, Manly Corso was a ghost town compared to its busy and bustling normal self.

World TB Day is a globally coordinated event in solidarity for the many people around the world who still lose their lives to tuberculosis. According to NSW Health, tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a bacterial infection, which most commonly affects a person’s lungs and can cause serious illness.

Northern Beaches Council Deputy Mayor Sue Heins (main image, centre) joined the event along with volunteers from TB advocacy organisation Results Australia, including local resident and TB survivor Lili Koch (main image, second right).

Deputy Mayor Heins said she was shocked to learn of the devastation that TB is still causing and was unaware of how prevalent the disease remains. According to Results Australia, over 1.5m people lose their lives to TB around the world every year.

World Tuberculosis Day at Manly Town Hall

Results Australia Ambassador and Northern Beaches local Maree Nutt OAM (main image, second from left) noted that dealing with the COVID pandemic reminds us what is needed in the fight to end TB.

“Developing a vaccine for COVID became a top political priority, with vast sums of money and resources mobilised very quickly. As a result, there are now more than 25 COVID vaccines licensed for use around the world.

“This time last year there was one licensed TB Vaccine — the same one we’ve had for the last 100 years for a disease that has been around since the times of Ancient Egypt,” said Ms Nutt.

World TB Day commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch discovered the bacteria that causes tuberculosis. In September (2023), countries will come together for the United Nations (UN) High Level Meeting on TB. This will be an opportunity to bring the best of what has been learnt in dealing with COVID-19 to help put the ‘Fight to End TB by 2030’ on track.

Images: Results Australia

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Results Australia

Results Australia is a non-partisan advocacy organisation working to end poverty, with a major focus on diseases of poverty such as tuberculosis (TB). They have been working for over thirty years through a combination of staff-led and grassroots advocacy with parliamentarians, aligned organisations and the media. Results is also the Secretariat of the Australian TB Caucus, a parliamentary friendship group committed to ending TB globally.

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