WORLD TB DAY 2018
Uniting to end TB and HIV
Each year we commemorate World TB Day on 24 March to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of tuberculosis (TB) and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
Despite significant progress over the last decades, TB continues to be the top infectious killer worldwide, claiming over 4 500 lives a day. The emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) poses a major health security threat and could risk gains made in the fight against TB.
The national theme for this year’s commemoration is: “Unite to end TB & HIV – South African Leaders taking action”.
South Africa’s National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs (2017-2022) wants to reduce new TB infections by at least 30%
The National Strategic Plan (NSP) is a 5-year guide for the country’s response to HIV,
Tuberculosis and Sexually Transmitted Infections. Under the new NSP we want to reduce new TB infections from 450,000 per year to less than 315,000 in 2022. To achieve this goal, however, will require all of us to work together. All of us have a role to play. Government and all sectors of society represented in the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) are providing leadership to ensure that we successfully implement the National Strategic Plan.
We need to urgently find the missing people with TB in order to end TB
Every year, people get sick with TB, which is an entirely preventable and curable disease. However, we still have a number of people who do not even receive care, because they are “missed” by our healthcare systems after failing to be diagnosed, treated or reported.
Let Our Actions Count
We all have a role to play in ending HIV, TB and STIs by:
- Saying NO to stigmatisation and discrimination against people living with TB and HIV;
- Checking your HIV status regularly so that you can stay negative or get care to remain healthy;
- Getting screened for TB if you have a cough that is not going away or if you know someone who has TB; and
- Helping to spread the message that TB is a curable disease – and that those who have been diagnosed with the disease must just complete their treatment.
The NICD’s Centre for Tuberculosis will be commemorating this day on Monday, 26 March 2018 at the PRF Auditorium, from 10:00 – 12:30, under the theme “Tackling BIG TB”.