In the run-up to the first-ever United Nations high-level meeting (HLM) on tuberculosis (TB) next week, the global health community has praised South Africa for its role in tackling the world’s deadliest infectious disease.
South Africa made history on Monday when the health department announced that all drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) patients will be eligible to receive the new medicine, bedaquiline, becoming the first country to do so.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs’ new report, Time to Deliver, called for urgent action against chronic diseases and mental disorders, the globe’s leading cause of death and ill-health, but failed to include a recommendation on taxing sugary beverages.
Within a week the “revolutionary” new HIV drug dolutegravir has gone from panacea to pariah. Recent data from a Botswana study linking the drug to birth defects has seen the highest international health bodies issuing public warnings.
Cholera flourishes in flood situations and its prevalence is likely to increase with climate change. But the WHO believes that, with proper investment in sanitation and water plus oral vaccines, the disease can be eradicated.