Sunday, 24 March 2019, is World TB Day and the City of Joburg has stepped up its efforts to eradicating the debilitating disease.
According the World Health Organisation (WHO) tuberculosis (TB) remains an epidemic in the developing world. South Africa has one of the highest burden of TB, which is the leading cause of death. The WHO estimates that in 2017, South Africa had 322 000 new cases of active TB.
As part of an international push to eliminate TB, the clinics in the City of Johannesburg will
create awareness and screen patients for TB and HIV/Aids. An important part of this year’s
outreach will be to find the missing patients who were diagnosed but did not commence or
continue with their treatment programme.
TB screening and treatment is free at all City clinics. The City’s clinics will also be conducting community outreach programs to support families with individuals who have TB. Nurses will also encourage patients on TB treatment to complete their treatment.
The City of Johannesburg Health and Social Department urges residents to visit the clinics if they notice any symptoms of TB. The most common TB symptoms include a persistent cough that continues for more than two weeks; a fever that lasts for longer than 14 days; unexplained weight loss; drenching night sweats and sudden fatigue among children.
Although TB is infectious, you would have to spend a prolong time in close proximity with
someone who has it before you can contract it yourself. TB infection usually spreads between family members who live in the same house.
TB is curable. To prevent the spread of TB, patients need to take their treatment every day for 180 days (six months) even if they feel better. If not, they can get sick again.