TB research urgent - Health Minister

2012-03-23 12:22
Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has called for urgent research into tuberculosis. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has called for urgent research into tuberculosis. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Urgent research is needed to fight the spread of tuberculosis, particularly in poor countries, the health minister has said.

"In terms of TB research, the whole world went to sleep and we're regretting it because we thought we had defeated TB," Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi told News24.

Albert Schatz, Elizabeth Bugie, and Selman Waksman isolated Streptomyces griseus or streptomycin, the first bacterial agent effective against M. Tuberculosis in 1944.

"The last diagnosis of TB was 50 years ago," Motsoaledi added.

TB is on the increase and a significant effort is required to limit the spread of the killer disease marked by high prevalence in poor communities and low compliance with treatment schemes.


According to the World Health Organisation, the incidence rate in sub-Saharan Africa is over 350 cases per 100 000 population.

Motsoaledi said that funding was required to beat the disease that is "out of control".

"Because there has been a resurgence of TB - absolutely out of control - the global fund when it was established to fight HIV/Aids, TB and malaria, established what is called a 'Stop TB partnership'."

The Stop TB partnership which operates as secretariat hosted by the World Health Organisation aims fight the disease in 100 countries.

"It's only seven years ago that the Stop TB partnership gathered a group of scientists to go deeper into TB research and last year they came with gene experts which can diagnose TB in two hours, rather than two days to a week which been happening over the past 50 years," said Motsoaledi.

He added that South Africa's prevalence was the highest among countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

"The bad news is that out of the 22 high burden countries in the world, between five and seven countries are within SADC.

"So the TB is found within SADC, unfortunately South Africa is number one, especially in the gold mines in South African - that's where TB is the biggest killer."

According to the latest statistics from the World Health Organisation, there were 335 974 cases of TB in 2010, and of those 60 580 were due re-treatments due to patient default, relapse and treatment failure.

"So we have to bring back scientists to try and fight the disease and before the end of this year [2012] the Wealth Organisation, the Global Fund and the World Bank are going to come to South Africa, bringing together all the ministers of health in SADC, ministers of labour in SADC, minsters of minerals in SADC - we need a totally new strategy to fight TB," Motsoaledi said.

To counter patient default and treatment failure rates, Motsoaledi called for co-ordination of TB treatment in the SADC region.

"The treatment of TB in SADC will be streamlined; we use the same treatment, we use the same regimes; we put scientists together."

- Follow Duncan on Twitter

Read more on:    aaron motsoaledi  |  health  |  tb

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


DA ad scores nearly half a millions hits on YouTube

The DA's "Ayisafani" (It's not the same) election TV advert - originally pulled off the air by the SABC - has garnered nearly half a million views on YouTube.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Saturday Newlands - 12:32 PM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    DELAYS between Wynberg Hill and UCT due to 2 Oceans Marathon
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:


Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.