The private healthcare sector in South Africa has been tasked by the government to help identify about 160 000 people living with Tuberculosis (TB) and are not not aware of it.

The call was made in Johannesburg at a breakfast meeting organised by the American Chamber of Commerce to discuss the TB epidemic.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that each year more than 400 000 people are infected with TB in SA and over 160 000 of them are not diagnosed.

People living with TB and not on treatment don’t only put themselves at danger but also expose those they come in contact with.

Director-General in the Health Department, Dr Precious Matsoso said that the department has made progress,“so these missing cases are the ones that we are calling all of you to help us to find. We have made significant progress but our response to the TB epidemic has been public sector led.”

Motsoso said that TB does not have boundaries.

“It cannot be that TB is confined to the public sector. TB knows no boundaries; it does not choose a sector so it is thus necessary for us to work across all sectors to tackle the burden of disease,” Motsoso said.

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