Africa Asia Middle East عربي Français Português Alerts RSS IRIN Site Map
Global HIV/AIDS news and analysis
Advanced search
 Thursday 23 July 2009
Weekly reports 
In-Depth reports 
Country profiles 
Fact files 
Most read 
Print report Bookmark and Share
SOUTH AFRICA: Urgent action needed on TB, HIV co-infection

Photo: Department of Health
South Africa's TB programme is slowly improving
JOHANNESBURG, 22 July 2009 (PlusNews) - South Africa's tuberculosis (TB) programme is improving: fewer people are defaulting on treatment, and the cure rate has increased, says a joint review by government and the World Health Organization (WHO).

A review of the TB control programme found that more than 90 percent of patients in some South African clinics were being tested for HIV, but more needed to be done to address TB and HIV co-infection.

Although findings from the review, released by the Department of Health, were largely positive, TB and HIV co-infection still poses the greatest threat to the country's progress in curbing its TB epidemic, said Marcos Espinal, executive secretary of Stop TB, a global partnership to counteract the disease.

About one percent of South Africans fall ill with TB every year, giving the country the second highest rate of new cases in the world, according to Irene Koek, chairperson of the Stop TB coordinating board. She warned that this rate will increase if urgent action is not taken to address co-infection.

"Much progress has been made – TB control is now totally decentralized and available at the primary care level ... [but] this is not the case with antiretroviral (ARV) clinics," she told IRIN/PlusNews. "So a person with TB who needs ARVs may get TB drugs close to home but in some cases will have to walk kilometres to get ARVs."

Among the review's recommendations were increased TB screening for those living with HIV, expanded access to Isoniazid (a preventive TB therapy), and increased TB awareness campaigns throughout the country.

Espinal said the review was yet another demonstration of high-level political will to address South Africa's TB epidemic.

WHO periodically undertakes reviews of national programmes, but only at the behest of governments.


Theme(s): (PLUSNEWS) Care/Treatment - PlusNews, (PLUSNEWS) Health & Nutrition, (PLUSNEWS) HIV/AIDS (PlusNews)


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Print report Bookmark and Share
FREE Subscriptions
Your e-mail address:

Submit your request
 More on South Africa
GLOBAL: Treating addiction can prevent HIV
GLOBAL: Test and treat to wipe out AIDS
SOUTH AFRICA: Amanda Kubeka, "When it's a positive result ... it's not easy to tell the client"
GLOBAL: IRIN/PlusNews Weekly Issue 446, 17 July 2009
GLOBAL: Changes afoot for US global AIDS policy
 More on Care/Treatment - PlusNews
GLOBAL: Treating addiction can prevent HIV
KENYA: New code of practice protects HIV-positive employees
GLOBAL: Test and treat to wipe out AIDS
GLOBAL: Time to start doing more with less money
GLOBAL: Changes afoot for US global AIDS policy
Back | Home page

Services:  Africa | Asia | Middle East | Radio | Film & TV | Photo | Live news map | E-mail subscription
Feedback · E-mail Webmaster · IRIN Terms & Conditions · Really Simple Syndication News Feeds · About PlusNews · Jobs · Bookmark PlusNews · Donors

Copyright © IRIN 2009
This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.