PMB’s TB hotspot

2011-03-30 00:00

COPESVILLE has the highest prevalence of tuberculosis (TB) in Msunduzi Municipality.

This has prompted the Community Chest, South African Red Cross and the Msunduzi Health Department to form a partnership to fight the disease in the area.

The partnership was launched at Copesville sports ground yesterday to restore hope to TB sufferers there.

Red Cross provincial manager Derick Naidoo said they look after 18 000 HIV patients in the Msunduzi area with TB being the main concern in all the cases.

“Through this partnership home-based care workers will be trained. It is their task to remind patients about the importance of testing for TB and adhering to treatment by those who tested positive. Sadly these care workers are only paid stipends, hence the need for more donors to come on board …”

Naidoo said the commitment by the Community Chest and a United Kingdom donor whom he would not name has been the strength in infiltrating communities affected by TB and other diseases.

The Community Chest has pledged a yearly R475 000 over three years for volunteer training for the Copesville area only.

“We have a UK-based donor who gave us R50 million for four years, with this year being the final one on the agreement. Yet after going through our books and financial statements, this year the donor committed to a further R25 million funding and has encouraged us to get local donors. For every million we raise locally we will get the equivalent from the donor,” he said.

Community Chest executive director Aroo Naidoo said, “The overall objective is to reduce the vulnerability of the most disadvantaged communities to TB and other related diseases. This disease has had the greatest impact on communities with high rate of poverty, low level of education and poor access to health and social services among other hardships”.

With this project in place TB support groups will be formed and caregivers will promote clean and healthy living and provide spiritual and emotional support to affected families and individuals among other services.

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