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Dr Makgabo optimistic about reducing TB infections, deaths by 2030

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Senior TB Technical Specialist at the Aurum Institute, Dr Mamothe Makgabo, says she is positive that the South African story of Tuberculosis (TB) infections and deaths will change in the coming years.

Dr Makgabo says advancements are happening in the country in line with the National Strategic Plan to reduce new TB infections and deaths by 2030.

Her comments follow the 8th biannual TB Conference recently held in Durban, Kwa Zulu Natal. Policymakers, academics, researchers, government officials and members of civil society gathered for four days under the theme, “Accelerating progress to end TB.”

According to the World Health Organisation, South Africa is amongst 30 countries that contribute more than 87 percent of the global TB burden.

Current data indicates that in South Africa alone, 148 people die each day due to TB.

Dr Makgabo says one of the key discussions from the conference centred around curbing malnutrition as it has been discovered to be a major setback in the fight against TB in South Africa.

Dr Makgabo says all sectors should work together to make nutrition a priority.

“We need a multi-sectoral approach. For instance, the Department of Social Development should assist in terms of identifying social grant beneficiaries. We need to also strengthen our health facilities with regards to ensuring that patients with low body weight are referred to a dietician and tested for TB. ”

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