Western Cape Health MEC, Nomafrench Mbombo says the cubic PET-CT scanner for TB detection that has been unveiled at the University of Cape Town (UCT) will help the province combat the disease effectively.

The Western Cape has the highest TB prevalence worldwide.

UCT has in conjunction with Groote Schuur Hospital unveiled a new multimillion-rand cubic TB detection scanner.

The device is intended to help with monitoring and treatment of TB.

It was obtained through funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mbombo says it will also help detect other diseases such as cancer and heart problems.

She says, “What is exciting about this is that it can pick up even when the cancer it’s still very small in terms of the molecules because currently you will find out sometimes the doctors see it later when it’s in later stages in terms of the cancer cells.”

Head of medicine at Groote Schuur and UCT, Professor Ntobeko Ntusi says the PET scanner will also assist in cutting edge research.

Ntusi says, “From the research perspective we are the leading global centre for investigation into mechanisms of TB and looking at new shorter courses of therapy which we can test their efficacy using PET-CT imagery.”