PIC | Parliament glows red to commemorate World TB Day

2020-03-24 22:14

As the country prepares for a lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, a handful of activists took the time out on Tuesday night to celebrate World TB Day by witnessing both Houses of Parliament being lit up in red to highlight South Africa's most lethal infectious disease.

While most politicians could not attend as a result of making the necessary arrangements ahead the shutdown that will see many South Africans confined to their homes, Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo carried the torch for them, saying TB was being left behind despite having killed more people in the country.

It was a curable disease, but TB continued to be the number one cause of death from illness in South Africa, killing around 63 000 people per year, according to Professor Harry Hausler, the chief executive of TB HIV Care.

Hausler said precautions to prevent TB were similar to those of Covid-19. 

"We have to cough into our elbows or use a tissue and discard it, maintain good social distancing and if people have symptoms - cough, fever, night sweats or weight loss - they must seek clinical care to determine whether they have TB and start on treatment."

He called on MPs and their provincial counterparts to take the lead in the fight to limit the spread of TB by, among others, ring fencing funds for an effective response to the scourge or overhauling the public healthcare system to tackle the risk of airborne diseases.

Read more on:    cape town  |  world tb day  |  tb

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