Wednesday, September 30, 2009

R U TB Free?

During September, Sussan Coetzee and Winnie Mgudiwa (centre), of the project, TB Free, trained members of the Prince Albert community to go door-to-door to inform residents of the warning symptoms of tuberculosis (TB) and to encourage them to give sputum samples.

TB Free, which is a joint initiative of the Nelson Mandela Aventis Project for Combating TB, also conducted a TB awareness and screening campaign in the town. In one day, assisted by the staff of the Prince Albert Hospital’s Primary Health Care Clinic, they screened 410 people and tested 115, who they suspected might be infected.

TB is a major health problem in South Africa – in 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) ranked South Africa fourth among the world’s 22 high-burden TB countries. It is a contagious yet controllable disease and according to TB Free, the cure rate in South Africa is just over 57%. However, the number of TB cases in South Africa is likely to increase over the next few years due to HIV/AIDS.

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