The USAID TB Program South Africa recently supported two events hosted by the Department of Health aimed at reaching key sectors of society in the fight against tuberculosis.
The first event, ‘HTC Revitalisation Launch and Cancer Awareness’ targeted traditional leaders and politicians and was held November 1 in North West Province. Among the featured speakers was North West Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Health, Dr. Magome Masike, who urged leaders to be tested for HIV and screened for TB at least once per year. By doing so, he said, he would be helping the government to combat TB and HIV by serving as examples of healthy behavior for their respective communities.
A representative of traditional leaders said they regarded themselves as part of the Department of Health and were therefore were equal partners in promoting healthy living.
The second health event took place at Bree Taxi Rank in Johannesburg and was hosted in collaboration with the Department of Health and stakeholders from the taxi industry. Approximately 5000 taxi drivers attended. October was National Transport Month, which served as an opportunity to highlight the role taxi drivers can play in delivering healthy messages regarding TB and HIV to the people they transport every day. The keynote speaker, Gauteng MEC for Transport Dr. Ismail Vadi, said that industry engagement in healthy living must extend beyond Transport Month to the rest of the year.