Free State community marches against TB

Free State community marches against TBBedaquiline is one of a handful of new TB drugs used to treat drug-resistant strains. Pediatric TB patient. (Credit: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria)

Bethlehem community members in the Free State recently marched against tuberculosis (TB) in an effort to promote testing and treatment.

Read More

South Africa's new national TB screening campaign has already tested 59,000 inmates for TB. According to Ramaphosa, the campaign will test at least 150,000 prisoners in its first year.
South Africa’s new national TB screening campaign has already tested 59,000 inmates for TB.

“We came together with the community to say, ‘TB can be cured,” said Thabile Ntai, a field officer with the district department of health.

Among the dozens of marchers was TB survivor Thabang Mofokeng.

“I joined the march to encourage those with TB,” she told OurHealth. “I know how it feels, I once had TB.”

“I thought I was going to die and I feared for my children,” she added. “I am glad I completed my six months’ TB treatment now I am free from TB.”

The march comes on the heels of Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 24 March launch of a national TB screening campaign. According to Ramaphosa, the campaign is expected to be the largest ever seen by South Africa in which TB remains the leading cause of death.

The campaign will prioritise six districts in four provinces, including Bethlehem’s neighbouring Lejweleputswa District Municipality. According to Ramaphosa, 140,000 people have already been screened for TB in these districts and the campaign aims to about 6.2 million people in the next three years.