AFCON marchers
AFCON marchers
Stop TB event
STOP TB event
KICK TB event
DOT Supporter administering treatment to a patient

The South African National Department of Health (NDoH) has set a new target of 90% treatment success rate of all clients initiated on treatment. However, in 2013, the treatment success rate among new patients with drug-sensitive TB in South Africa was 77%, well below the World Health Organization (WHO) target of 85%.

In the Eastern Cape Province, among new smear positive clients, treatment interruption and transfer-outs accounted for 8.5% and 4.8% respectively of negative outcomes. The program would have reached the WHO targets if these clients had been retained in care. Ensuring directly-observed treatment (DOT) and early antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation in HIV-positive TB patients are some of the main strategies adopted by the WHO to ensure high treatment success rate.

The USAID TB CARE II South Africa project explored the use of mobile health (mHealth) technology, a mobile device-based software program, as an innovative approach to improve patient retention amongst drug resistant (DR) TB patients. The intervention was piloted in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan (NMBM) District in Eastern Cape Province in May 2015, using a software package designed specifically for the USAID TB CARE II South Africa project.

The rollout of the project was two-pronged: geo-mapping of DR-TB clients in the NMBM region diagnosed since 2012 and the introduction of the mHealth package for DOT supporters.

The USAID Tuberculosis (TB) South Africa Program funded ‘We Beat TB’ mass media campaign is reaping the desired outcomes.
The USAID TB South Africa Program implemented the ‘We Beat TB Campaign’ in 2009. During that time, the National Communication Survey showed that there were low levels of knowledge about TB compared to HIV in South African communities.

The USAID TB CARE II Project South Africa project, implemented by University Research Co., LLC (URC), is supporting the KwaZulu-Natal province’s initiative to tackle TB in children.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that children account for around 500,000 new cases of TB annually worldwide, and that up to 74,000 children die from TB each year. In South Africa, approximately 15-20% of all TB cases occur in children, and TB is among the top five underlying causes of death in children under 15 years of age. KwaZulu-Natal has the highest TB burden in the country: 9,691 cases of TB in children under five years were reported in 2011, representing 8 percent of the total number of TB cases recorded at that time.

Grantee Spotlight

Since 2009, TB Program South Africa has provided 85 grants to 67 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in all nine provinces in South Africa. The project is currently on its 4th wave of funding, and more grantees are being added all the time.

Many grantees have pioneered innovative models of service delivery and community outreach, such as injection teams for MDR-TB patients and door-to-door TB and HIV screening, which can serve as models for other organizations working to combat TB and TB/HIV throughout the country, particularly among vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations.

To learn more about the TB Program South Africa Small Grants Program, check out the grantee spotlight booklet here: http://tbsouthafrica.org/sites/default/files/USAIDTBProgramSAGranteeSpotlight_Rv2.pdf.

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