TB and HIV – Media Watch
Probe highlights risk from discharged TB patients
A long-term probe has found that South Africans with highly drug-resistant TB are "systematically" discharged from hospital without being cured, placing themselves and others at risk, its authors have said.
"Treatment failure and discharge of such patients into the wider community is occurring systematically on a country-wide level," a University of Cape Town professor of pulmonology who led the study, Keertan Dheda, said.
New TB vaccine trial in SA
A trial of a new vaccine hoped to prevent tuberculosis has begun in South Africa.
An estimated 500 000 people contract TB in the country every year, one of the highest rates in the world.
‘You can fight if you have support’
Two years ago Phumeza Tisile's doctor told her that she didn't have much longer to live. After Tisile had battled the extensively drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis (XDR-TB) for years, tests showed that she wasn't responding well to treatment. She was told to see a priest, as there were no other options.
Then her doctors decided to use linezolid, an old antibiotic that can be used to fight TB.
New weapon in war on TB
GENEXpert gives doctors a revolutionary new way of testing that can dramatically reduce the time it takes to get a diagnosis for multidrug-resistant TB.
But despite the wide availability of the automated diagnostic technology, deficiencies in the health system are making it difficult to get patients onto treatment quickly.
War on TB far from won
South Africa is in a race against time to reduce its high rate of TB infections and deaths.
Yogan Pillay, head of the HIV, TB and mother-and-child programmes in the Department of Health says he is committed to reaching the Millennium Development Goal of bringing down the high tuberculosis mortality rate by the end of 2015.