Call to tackle TB crisis facing healthcare workers

2016-03-23 09:04


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Pietermaritzburg - The Health and Other Service Personnel Trade Union of South Africa (Hospersa) has asked the Labour Ministry to intervene over the TB crisis facing healthcare workers.

Tomorrow marks global TB day, focusing on the world TB crisis which South Africa is also currently facing, Hospersa said in a statement.

According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Global TB report 2015, a country is in crisis when it has a TB incidence rate of 200-600 cases per 100 000 people.

The union said South Africa stands at an incidence of 834 cases per 100 000 people.

The statistics put the country way above the crisis level.

“South Africa has, however, made some progress and is down from the third highest to the fourth highest TB-burdened country in the world.

“The South African health workforce is directly responsible for delivering the biggest HIV and ARV roll out programme in the world.

“They are also responsible for rolling out the health programme for the fourth highest TB burdened country, amongst other pressing disease profiles,” the statement said.

According to Hospersa, South African healthcare workers are facing disproportionate levels of risk of contracting TB, MDR-TB and XDR-TB in the course of duty.

“The WHO and the South African government have identified healthcare workers as a key population at risk of contracting TB, a matter that requires special measures and programmes to address such high-risk populations.

“We strongly believe that we cannot end TB if our health workforce becomes TB-infected, undiagnosed and untreated, and fuelling the spread of TB instead of reducing it,” the statement said.

— Witness Reporter.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  health  |  tb

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