Tackling TB head-on

 

The City of Johannesburg will soon embark on a wide-ranging campaign to create tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/Aids awareness and will conduct free screening and testing at all of the City’s clinics.

This initiative will continue until the end of April and will include the commemoration of World TB Day on 24 April.

Before the campaign kicks off, here are a few good-to-know facts about TB and HIV/Aids and how the City supports awareness and treatment thereof.

Did you know:

  • TB is an infectious disease that is spread from person to person through the air. It affects the lungs but can also have an impact on other parts of the body
  • The most recent figures reported by Stats SA confirm that TB is still the number one killer in the country, responsible for almost 40 000 mortalities every year
  • According to the World Health Organisation Global TB Report 2016, South Africa reported 454 000 new TB cases in 2015, making it the country with the sixth highest incidence of TB in the world – surpassed by India, Indonesia, China, Pakistan and Nigeria. Of the 454 000 reported cases, an estimated 60 to 73 per cent are co-infected with HIV/Aids
  • TB symptoms include a persistent cough that continues for more than two weeks, a fever that lasts for longer than 14 days, unexplained weight loss, drenching night sweats and sudden fatigue among children
  • The spread of TB can be prevented by covering your nose and mouth when sneezing, by coughing into your elbow, by ensuring your house is properly ventilated, by living a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise as well as eating a balanced diet.

What the City is doing:

  • Intensifying awareness and screening campaigns in all wards until the end of April 2017
  • Dialogues are taking place with leaders in civil society, churches, the taxi industry and teachers in schools
  • Conversations with family members of individuals who are undergoing TB treatment have been prioritised
  • Providing TB treatment to infected individuals, which is to be taken every day for the prescribed period until cured, and at the same time, preventing the spread of TB to immediate family members, children, friends and the community
  • Advocating for communities not to stigmatise or separate people with TB but rather support them to take their treatment for the prescribed period to be cured
  • Supporting patients on TB treatment and encouraging them to complete their treatment so that they can be cured
  • Offering free testing and treatment for TB and HIV/Aids at all the City’s clinics.

Related article: Remember free TB and HIV/Aids testing at City of Johannesburg clinics

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  AUTHOR
Chantelle Fourie
Metro Reporter

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