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Committed to the reduction of fatalities resulting from Tuberculosis

TBFriday 24th March 2023 is World TB Day which is spearheaded by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The aim of World TB Day is to put a spotlight on this disease which is killing millions of people worldwide. Locally, TB has been identified as one of the top 10 diseases that causes death.

This is why Ms Tebogo Sole Moloto, a Research Scientist and Psychologist at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) TB Platform Unit is dedicated to TB research that aims to control the spread of TB and reduce the number of deaths caused by TB. Ms Sole Moloto, a PhD candidate at the University of Pretoria was recently announced as the Chairperson of the TB Prevention Task Team within the TB Think Tank Executive Committee. The TB Think Tank is a national network that provides expert advice on evidence-based TB prevention and control policies and programs to the National Department of Health (NDoH).

As Chair, Ms Sole Moloto’s duties are to ensure that Think Tank's vision, mission, and mandate are fulfilled. Regarding her new responsibility, Ms Sole Moloto expressed her appreciation, stating that it is an honor for a young person like herself to expand her knowledge of TB research and programs, policies, and implementation on a national level. She stated her desire is to make a valuable contribution that will ultimately benefit all South Africans.

Ms Sole Moloto recognises the difficulties of identifying active TB cases and providing treatment with combatting the disease. She noted that raising public awareness about the impact of TB on health and socio-economic aspects is crucial for ending the global TB epidemic.

Additionally, she noted that the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions had a negative effect on TB services worldwide and in South Africa, leading to increased TB mortality rates since 2005.

“To overcome the pandemic's setbacks,” she says, “The NDoH developed a National TB Recovery plan (April 2022 – March 2023) to accelerate TB control efforts and fulfil global commitments to end TB.”  The plan's key objectives are to locate people in communities with undiagnosed TB disease, strengthen linkage of TB diagnoses to care and treatment, strengthen retention in TB care, and improve TB-related data collection and management.

The WHO has established specific objectives as part of their End TB strategy to be achieved by countries by 2030, which include an 80% reduction in TB incidence and a 90% decrease in TB-related deaths. Additionally, the goal is to eliminate significant financial burdens on households affected by TB by this same time frame. This year's theme, "Yes! We can end TB," emphasises the importance of spreading three essential messages to the public:

  1. TB can be prevented and managed effectively,
  2. Screening and testing for TB comes at no cost, and
  3. Finishing one's medication is crucial in successfully combating TB.

 For more enquiries:

  1. Ms Yolanda Phakela
    Public Relations Manager
    Cell: +27 73 801 3691
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