AUDIENCE ENGAGES IN A ROBUST DISCUSSION AROUND HEALTH ISSUES
Written by: Mfundo Knowledge Mthembu
Prestigious speakers came together in cognisant of sex reproductive health issues at the Durban University of Technology in commomeration of World AIDS Day.
Numerous guest speakers from the health department led a discussion to engage students, staff and local community members on a robust discussion on matters of sexual health, HIV/AIDS education, TB and Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
Amongst the speakers was Commercial City MRU Site Project Manager, Busisiwe Maphumulo, Clinical Research Director Psychologist at TB and MDR-TB Research Organisation, S. Nzimande, Community Liaison Officer, Wendy Mkhize, as well as Research Clinician, Sharice Naicker of Caprisa.
“I am currently running a project called ECHO which is an acronym for Evidence for Contraceptive Option and HIV Outcomes,” said Maphumulo. “Basically it’s a contraceptive study where we are looking into three different contraceptives which are three injectable, which are DMPA, five year implant and IUD. So, we are looking to compare if there is any increased risk of HIV with the use of any of the three methods.”
Tuberculosis is still on the rise and South Africa is the leading country with the number of patients infected with TB. The glimmer of hope is that TB is curable even though a large number of people are showing to be more infected.
“MDR-TB does the same to the human body as the standard TB and if standard TB drugs are not taken correctly, standard TB can change to MDR-TB. So, you can catch MDR-TB from someone who already had it. Both TB and MDR-TB have similar symptoms to each other,” explained Nzimande.
Nzimande added that it takes 18-24 months to cure TB using treatment, but with the new drug called Badaquiline, which was first tried in Bangladesh and showed efficacy to cure TB, it can now be cured within two weeks. However, organisations cannot distribute Badaquiline just yet until it has been thoroughly investigated.
Naicker added that Caprisa is involved in HIV Prevention Research and Update.
“At Caprisa we are making sure that all the communities, tertiary institutions, the CBO’s and Non-Profit Organisations get to know of Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PreP). We invite people to come into our clinics to be screened and at the end of the day maybe deciding to take up PreP,” said Mkhize.
Caption: Audience members in attendance to discuss health issues during the World AIDS Day Talk at the Durban University of Technology.