South Africans urged to prioritise TB screening

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South Africans have been urged to go to their nearest health facilities to get screened for tuberculosis.

This comes as the country joins other countries in observing World TB Day on Saturday.

South Africa is ranked sixth in the world with the highest TB prevalence with about 450 000 cases each year.

The Health Department says about 6% of 27 000 of them default on their treatment and an estimated 33 000 die of TB each year.

Ten percent of all TB cases are children. This year’s World TB Day theme is ‘Wanted: Leaders for a TB Free World’.

Earlier this week, government met with communities and traditional leaders including Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini in Durban to commemorate TB Day.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says, “And every member of society must participate. One of the things that people must do is to present themselves for screening for TB, because globally there are about three million people who are having TB, but are not known but they are spreading the disease. It is said that in SA that number is 150 000, meaning we have got 150 000 around us throughout the country who have got TB, but they are not known and they are not on treatment.”