TB CONTINUES TO BE THE WORLD’S LEADING KILLER
Written by: Mbuso Ndabezinhle Kunene
The oldest world’s disease Tuberculosis (TB) was no exception at the 2016 International AIDS pre-conference at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) on Saturday.
According to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report, TB was even larger than previous years. The disease infected almost 10 million people and claimed 1.5 million lives last year alone.
National Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi called upon the world to fight TB as it was the “partner in crime” with the HIV/AIDS.
“TB is also not ignored among children with the disease and scientist are doing their best as it is hard to cure it and they were forced to take adults medication,” Motsoaledi said.
Even though TB was treatable and curable, the disease had become a leading killer of people with HIV.
International Aids Society (IAS) President Linda-Gail Bekker said that the fight against AIDS was a losing battle if TB was to be left out.
“We cannot win the fight against AIDS without also tackling TB,” Bekker said.
“Too often, TB and HIV team up against us. But with this conference we are supporting a global movement to bring the TB and HIV responses together to defeat both epidemics,” Bekker added.
Meanwhile Valerie Mizrahi, head of the University of Cape Town’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine said that the TB 2016 program highlights the urgency of the treatments and public intervention to such meetings.
“The challenges of a vastly under resourced response, a lack of political urgency and growing threat of drug resistance must all be confronted head on if we are to reduce the global burden of TB,” Mizrahi said.
“TB is preventable, treatable and curable, yet we have allowed it to become world’s leading infectious killer,” Mizrahi added.
The official 2016 world AIDS conference is scheduled to kick-off on Monday the 18th of July.
*Caption: Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and the panel on TB