Ahead of the World TB Day which will be commemorated globally on Thursday the African Union and the Republic of South Africa marked the TB day Tuesday under the theme ‘Unite to end TB in Africa by 2030”. While significant progress was made in achieving the MDG target of halting and reversing the number of new TB cases by 2015, Tuberculosis has overtaken HIV as the biggest infectious killer globally, causing 1.5 million deaths every year.
“Together with our social partners and development agencies, we will continue to remind our people that TB can be detected, treated and cured. We encourage people to get screened for TB. If infected with TB, people need to go on treatment as soon as possible and ensure that they complete their treatment” said Honourable Cyril Ramaphosa, the Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa.
South Africa ranks 6th among the 22 high burden countries that collectively contribute approximately 80% of the total global burden of all TB cases. Based on its investment case for TB, the South African government allocated a further R240 million to the fight against TB in the 2017/18 financial year, which will increase to R500 million in the 2018/19 financial year making it one of the globally with huge investments in health. In 2014 Africa had 28% of the world’s cases, but the most severe burden relative to population. The number of new cases have fallen at an average rate of 1.5% per year since 2000.