Tuberculosis investigated

2017-09-13 06:00

A project has been started to conduct a tuberculosis (TB) prevalence survey to esta-blish the true burden of the disease.

This follows findings by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that there is a high prevalence of the infectious disease in South Africa.

According to the WHO, South Africa ranks among the 22 high-burden countries and contributes to about 80% of the total global burden of all TB cases.

The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) will conduct the survey. The Department of Health announced that the 2017 TB prevalence survey will be conducted nationally with a representative sample of approximately 55 000 adults identified, sampled from 110 population clusters, and will take about 24 months to complete.

The survey kick-started in KwaZulu-Natal last month.

According to the department, the nine provinces have been divided into three categories, namely “low” (Gauteng and Limpopo), “medium” (KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Free State) and “high” (Northern Cape, Western Cape, North West and Eastern Cape).

Classification is based on prior beliefs of estimates for TB prevalence of 178 (low), 274 (medium) and 424 (high) per 100 000 persons, respectively.

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