More collaboration needed to combat TB

An X-ray of the chest of a man with tuberculosis. The areas infected with TB bacteria are colored red. Photo: Supplied.

The Free State Department of Health says the status of Tuberculosis as the number one killer in the country and the province is not only a health system issue, but a societal issue that calls for collaboration among different departments.

This comes after Statistics South Africa this week indicated that TB was the greatest cause of death in the country followed by diabetes.

The department’s Tshidi Morigihlane says although issues of adequate resources for the treatment of both Drug-sensitive (DS) TB and Multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB have been addressed by the department, more can still be done to combat the spread of the disease.

“There are only two ways in which we can win the war. It is that every household must know about TB, and they know how to control TB within their household. They must get basic education about the disease. Number two, our patients must take treatment for a prescribed period without fail; and we must make an effort between us and the department of education to ensure that children are educated about TB.”

Morigihlane says service delivery should also be improved at health care facilities, and local clinics must be accessible.


Katleho Morapela/Courant News