South Africa has 160 000 people infected with TB who are not yet on treatment.
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi was speaking at the launch of the TB Prevention Campaign in Inanda west of Durban.
He was accompanied by Deputy President David Mabuza.
Motsoaledi made an urgent call on traditional leaders to work with communities in tracing these people.
He also encouraged families who are living with TB patients in their households to also get screened and tested for TB.
He says, “Around the world there are four million people who have TB, but are not on treatment because we do not know them. Heads of States were asked to go back to their countries and look for these people. In South Africa, it is estimated that the number of people who have TB but are not on treatment is around 160 000. Just between April and December last year we discovered 38 000 people with TB. 38 000 people with TB who were not known, who were not on treatment.”
Meanwhile, Deputy President David Mabuza encouraged people to get screened and tested for both TB and HIV.
He says treatment is available and people should take advantage of the opportunity.
“As a country, we are facing this huge burden on our shoulders to fight HIV and Aids and to fight TB but we are not scared. We are encouraged each day by the courageous action of men and women who are prepared to conquer these epidemics.”
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