Tuberculosis (TB) survivors say stigmatisation undermines efforts to fight the spread of the disease. This emerged at the commemoration of World TB day in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape.
-It’s time to know your TB status
-It’s time to take & complete TB treament
-It’s time for leaders to lead this fight against TB
-It’s time to end stigma and discrimination around TB. @HealthZA @ygpillay @ingridsuidA @StopTB @SA_AIDSCOUNCIL @WeBeatTB pic.twitter.com/yFk2o4Do76
— Foster Mohale (@FoMohale) March 21, 2019
TB is one of the leading infectious diseases in South Africa as more than 100 000 people die from TB annually. Defaulting on medication and lack of awareness are contributing factors.
Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, says that he is concerned by the number of people dying from TB and encouraged people to get screened regularly to prevent the spread of the disease.
The Minister of Health says that TB patients are now getting a new TB drug called Bedaquiline which has changed people lives where patients do not have to choose between treatment and their hearing #WorldTBday2019 pic.twitter.com/5ruUntFTxC
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) March 24, 2019
Survivor Zoleka Swakimba says that people have discriminated against her for having TB and that makes her feel like she has committed a crime.
Ms Zoleka Swakima, a TB and HIV survivor encourages patients to adhere treatment. She also participated in the HIV clinical trial with @Auruminstitute and has successfully completed a course of 3HP preventive therapy #EndTB pic.twitter.com/Zg6SsbkzBG
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) March 26, 2019
The Department of Health took its awareness programme to the popular highway rank. Eastern Cape Health MEC, Helen Sauls August has asked the taxi association to pledge to the programme.
“We believe as we roll out this programme, we ask taxi association to pledge so that we can set up mobile units and bring our staff here and bring chronic medication so that our people don’t have to sit in our facilities.”
Lucky Mvelo, Deputy Chairperson of Kuyasa Taxi Association has expressed appreciation for the government initiative.
“We appreciate what the government is doing because we as taxi drivers, we don’t have time to go to clinics for check-ups, we will lose out on money.”
TB Taxi Activation by Mayor of Bafallo City, Premier of Eastern Cape, MEC of Health Eastern Cape and Minister of Health at taxi rank at Mdantsane, East London #EndTb #WorldTBDay2019 #ItsTimeToEndTB pic.twitter.com/zLFXQAxrZB
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) March 28, 2019
The community of Mdantsane also received a wide range of health services as part of TB commemoration day.