A build-up session to World TB Day: A collaborative partnership to end TB

22 March 2022

“Invest in Action to End TB Now! Get Screened. End Stigma. Save Lives”

A collaborative World TB Day Build-Up Session was held on 16 March in the community of Ntuzuma, north of Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal. The event of multiple stakeholders included CAPRISA, TB-HIV Care, the Gugu Dlamini Foundation, eThekwini Municipality, KZN Department of Health and the community of Ntuzuma. 

Themed: “Invest in Action to End TB Now! Get Screened. End Stigma. Save Lives”, the event was led by Mr Patrick Mdletshe, Chair of the CAPRISA Community Programmes. Guest speakers included representatives from CAPRISA, TB HIV Care, the Office of the Mayor, the Office of the Premier, Department of Health and an MDR TB survivor who gave a personal testimony of her journey with TB. “I learned from the CAPRISA community and support groups that TB is treatable and completely curable. Perseverance will save your life,” said Phindile Vilakazi a Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB) survivor.

The common theme amongst the speakers, was a need for greater collaboration to combat the three major public health threats: HIV, TB and Covid-19, and a call for greater strides to be made in ending TB, which is a preventable, treatable and curable disease.

Services offered for the attendees on the day included HIV testing, TB screening, mobile chest x-rays and transport to KwaMashu Poly Clinic was offered to guests who requested Covid vaccine jab.

Dr Busi Ntsalaze, CAPRISA Research Clinician said “Covid-19 had a devastating impact on the End TB goals. The gains made in TB over many years have been eroded with reports of 100 000 more TB deaths per annum in the 2020-2021 reporting period compared to previous years. We need increased investments to get back on track with TB”, she said.

Photo: (L-R): Mr Patrick Mdletshe, CAPRISA Head of Community Programme; Ms Ntombifuthi Luthuli, TB HIV Care;  Ms Sthembile Dlamini, Office of the Premier; Ms Nelly Madikizela, Gugu Dlamini Foundation; Ms Siphelele Gabokhutle, Community Liaison Officer TB HIV Care