KZN TOUGH ON TB
By: Gift Nyamapfene
City fathers took the lead in educating members of the public about Tuberculosis (TB) prevention during World TB Day commemorations at Hlahlindlela Sports Ground in KwaNgcolosi Tuesday.
Prince Nhlanganiso Zulu, KwaZulu-Natal’s TB Ambassador and former TB patient, said that TB does not discriminate and emphasised the importance of testing early.
“I urge community members to support people suffering from TB, as the healing process is very lonely and sufferers need all the assistance and support they can get,” he said.
World TB Day is commemorated annually and aims to educate and encourage communities about the importance of early testing and compliance with TB treatment to ensure that patients enjoy full recovery. According to a report by the KZN Department of Health, KwaZulu-Natal had a total of 101 037 TB cases in 2012 of which 7884 (7.8%) were children under the age of five years. The TB incidence is 1090 per 100 000 population which accounts for 31% of all TB cases reported in the country.
Health experts recommended that early testing was more effective in reducing fatal TB cases in the report.
KZN MEC for Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, advised people to be conscious of the disease since it is airbone therefore making everyone at risk of exposure.
“Some of us do not suffer from the disease because our immune systems are strong. However, if the immune system is weakened then the virus has an opportunity to attack. That is why you should regularly test, even if you do not feel ill,” said Dhlomo.
Mayor, Cllr James Nxumalo, urged patients to take their treatment correctly and consistently to ensure speedy recovery.
“TB is a contagious disease, but it is treatable. We cannot over-emphasize on the importance of early testing and correct use of treatment. It is also important to exercise and keep fit to minimise the risk of contracting the disease.”