Tuberculosis awareness lights up Times Square as COVID-19 continues to hamper TB response

The Stop TB Partnership aims to increase attention about Tuberculosis (TB) with the general population and has recently launched awareness efforts at the heart of New York City (USA), at the iconic Times Square.

While the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, now in its third year, little attention is sadly being devoted to TB, another airborne and infectious disease, which continues to needlessly kill more than 4,100 people every day.  In most countries around the world, the general population has limited knowledge about TB and the huge impact it has on societies, economies, and people’s lives. For the next four months, a video billboard at Times Square will highlight some essential facts about TB.

“The reason why we picked New York to raise visibility for TB is no accident. Four years ago, world leaders met right in the heart of the city at the United Nations High-Level Meeting (UNHLM) on TB, where they committed to reaching ambitious targets by 2022 and ending TB by 2030. Time is rapidly running out, and we want to put TB in the spotlight and urge world leaders to re-confirm and live up to their promises. Four years ago, we had another Time Square campaign featuring our TB survivors, so it is time to go back now,” said Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.

“We want to make sure that people understand that this is an airborne disease which kills three people every 15 seconds. No, it is not COVID-19. It is Tuberculosis. We need focus and considerable investments if we are to end this deadly disease.”

If you are in New York City or know someone there, you can see the billboard in person at Times Square, 1500 Broadway, West 43rd Street. Take a ‘selfie’ with the billboard in the background and share the picture or a short video on social media tagging @StopTB. Your social media posts will help us further boost awareness of TB and finally end this deadly disease in time for the 2030 deadline.

The campaign, launched over the winter holiday break, will run uninterrupted through World TB Day 2022 (24 March) and until April 2022.