South Africa launches massive TB screening programme

Due to a combination of poor living and working conditions, and likely pre-existing lung conditions, mineworkers are at a high risk of developing TB. (File photo)
Due to a combination of poor living and working conditions, and likely pre-existing lung conditions, mineworkers are at a high risk of developing TB. (File photo)
Due to a combination of poor living and working conditions, and likely pre-existing lung conditions, mineworkers are at a high risk of developing TB. (File photo)

Ramaphosa was attending national ceremonies marking World TB Day held outside Klerksdorp in the North West. According to Ramaphosa, the three-year campaign has identified six priority districts in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and the North West including the North West’s National Health Insurance pilot district, Dr Kenneth Kaunda.

The campaign has already screened 140,000 community members in these districts. Ramaphosa also reported that 59,000 prisoners – or about a third of all sentenced offenders and awaiting trial prisoners – have also been screened for TB.

Dr Thato Mosidi has become an ambassador for the Department of Health’s screening drive. She recounted how she first discovered she had developed TB.

“One day when I was preparing myself to go to work, I coughed a blood,” said Mosidi, who remains on treatment until today.

Nontlopeko Tshipunyana was diagnosed with TB six months ago, and says she is following Mosidi’s lead and adhering to treatment.

“I am always drinking my treatment regularly,” Tshipunyana told OurHealth.

The national campaign will capitalise on the more than R500 million awarded to South Africa by international health financer the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Part of this money will be used to screen up to half a million mineworkers for TB.

Due to a combination of poor living and working conditions, and likely pre-existing lung conditions, mineworkers are at a high risk of developing TB.

 

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