Health MEC rallies against TB

2016-07-28 06:00
Photos: supplied National Department of Health members with Pastor Vusi Dube of eThekwini Community Church at the tuberculosis awareness campaign.

Photos: supplied National Department of Health members with Pastor Vusi Dube of eThekwini Community Church at the tuberculosis awareness campaign.

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A NATIONAL coalition against tuberculosis was launched in Durban last week.
This alliance is a partnership between government, led by the National Department of Health, which has partnered with the National Religious Association for Social Development (NASRAD), the South African National TB Association (Santa) and the South Africa Red Cross.

According to the National Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, TB has overtaken Aids as the biggest killer of all infectious diseases, which today, is responsible for more deaths than HIV and Aids, worldwide.

The launch was held at eThekwini Community Church in Durban, led by Motsoaledi, the KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and health professionals, including members of parliament from African states.
They signed a pledge to be part of the global TB Caucus.
Sounding a warning about the dangers of this silent killer, Motsoaledi said: “I dare all of you to request nurses to screen you for TB when you visit our clinics. Whether you are there for immunisation of your child or treatment for other ailments, ask to be screened so you will know whether you need to be put on treatment for TB.
He said government is going to scale up TB screening in all Metros. The minister said TB was one of the biggest killers of people with Aids.
“Statistics reveal that nine million people have TB worldwide, but only six million are on treatment. In South Africa the people who are the most affected by TB are inmates, those living in informal settlements and children, especially those under the age of five.”

Motsoaledi called upon churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship to help save lives.

“Today, we again summon the nation, communities, religious groups, men, women and the youth to participate in this ground-breaking TB testing campaign.

“As we do so we must remind each other that to have tuberculosis is not a shame. We must allay the fears of those who contract the disease that they will be shunned, excluded and made to suffer in silence away. We must stand firm against prejudice, stigma and exclusion.” - Supplied.

Some TB symptoms:

• coughing for two weeks or more;

• persistent fever for more than two weeks; and

• inexplicable weight loss, drenching sweats and fatigue.

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