Lots of entries vie for World TB Day theme

Usually decided by a small, insider group

TB professionals around the world have submitted ideas for a theme in 10 words or fewer, for this year’s World TB Day, says Jeanette Sanchez, communications adviser for the World Health Organization’s (WHO) STOP-TB group.

Traditionally, the theme for World TB Day gets decided by a handful of people at the WHO and the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. Making a contest out of the assignment was intended "to open it up to a wider audience, and maybe to get a different perspective and some fresh ideas," says Sanchez. The winner gets to attend a major World TB Day event at the WHO’s expense and will report on the event (for later publication by STOP-TB).

In past years, themes often were centered around directly observed treatment short course (DOTS), the WHO-approved strategy for fighting TB. Plenty of contest entries this year have mentioned DOTS, too, Sanchez says, but others have taken new tacks, such as "soliciting support from various segments of society," she says. The deadline for contest entries was last month.