AFCON marchers
AFCON marchers
Stop TB event
STOP TB event
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Prevent Children from getting TB

Every year, nine million people get sick with TB. Three million do not get the care they need. This year on World TB Day, March 24, 2014, the global TB community is calling on communities to “Reach the 3 Million: Find. Treat. Cure TB.” The USAID TB Program South Africa will use World TB Day to raise awareness of TB among hard-to-reach communities, in particular, among children.

In South Africa, TB is among the leading causes of death in children under 15. Most cases of TB in children occur in those with a known contact who has been diagnosed with TB, frequently a parent or another close relative; therefore, there is a critical need to mobilize communities and families to address TB in children.

TB Program South Africa has a number of events planned over the course of several weeks, leading up to World TB Day. These activities include:

Public service announcement (PSA): Earlier this month, the project launched a PSA encouraging parents and relatives of a child exposed to TB to take that child to the health center for testing. The PSA is now running nationally on both television and radio.

Events for March 12th – 19th included:

USAID TB Program South Africa hosted a National TB Diagnostic Summit in Pretoria on November 18 – 19, 2013, bringing together key stakeholders to discuss the role of TB diagnostics in achieving the Stop TB Partnership goal of zero TB deaths.

A high-quality laboratory system employing modern diagnostic techniques is critical to early, rapid, and accurate detection and treatment of TB. While South Africa has been at the forefront of countries of replacing traditional smear microscopy with rapid Xprt MTB/RIF (GeneXpert) testing for all patients presenting with TB symptoms, continued evaluation and improvement is needed.

“There has not been a formal platform to review the introduction of these tests, development of diagnostic algorithms, lessons learned and how best to improve diagnostics or inform policy changes in the country hence we need this forum to harness efforts and work in partnership,” said South African Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, who chairs the Stop...

The USAID Tuberculosis (TB) Program South Africa and the Umzinyathi Health District Office of KwaZulu-Natal Province hosted a TB and multi-drug resistance (MDR) - TB award ceremony on Thursday, August 8th. The ceremony recognized 64 MDR-TB patients who have successfully completed treatment, acknowledge TB teams for good performance since 2006 and to celebrate five years of Community Management of MDR-TB. Background: In 2006, there was an outbreak of MDR and extensively drug-resistance (XDR) TB in Tugela Ferry, Umzinyathi district. During that time, there was only one provincial specialized TB hospital managing MDR/XDR patients located 200KM away. The high number of cases led to bed shortages and long waiting list for 2nd line initiation TB treatment and management of MDR patients. This led for Greytown M3 Hospital to become the first decentralized MDR-TB hospital, starting operation in 2008, initiating 2nd line treatment for MDR...

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The USAID TB Program South Africa, in conjunction with Rhodes University, is undertaking a study to develop patient-centred tuberculosis information leaflets. In using this approach, the leaflets will be more accessible to patients, allowing them to understand their treatment regimen and the implications of non-adherence in a clearer and more concise way.This partnership initially began when Rhodes University submitted a proposal to the USAID TB Program South Africa to develop a patient-centred tuberculosis leaflet. The Program felt that this endeavour fit within its mandate in South Africa, specifically in relation to its advocacy, communication, and social mobilisation (ACSM) unit. The study, which began on Wednesday 16th October, targets a stratified random sample of 150 TB patients at Rosedale Clinic in the community of Uitenhage.

Conducting the study along with USAID TB Program South Africa personnel is Rhodes University PhD in Pharmacy student Sonal Patel.

Grantee Spotlight

Footballers for Life (F4L) is a non-governmental organization that uses retired professional football players to provide health and life skills training in communities. The players, known as Wellness Coaches, help create and promote sustainable behavior changes related to the prevention of TB and HIV. For the past three years, F4L has worked extensively in prisons in Gauteng and Free State, promoting healthy behaviors among inmate populations. In 2013, F4L receives funding through the USAID TB Program South Africa small grants program to: 1) conduct TB/HIV and life skills education sessions and TB/HIV advocacy events at correctional facilities; 2) improve TB case detection for inmates; and 3) establish functional and effective TB/HIV support groups within correctional facilities.
Major achievements to date include:
• Reached 2482 inmates and 1141 Department of Correctional Services Officials with TB and HIV awareness campaign messages.
• Screened 1033 individuals for TB through symptomatic screening.
• Referred 196 TB suspects for HIV counseling and testing.
• Established eight support groups for 162 TB patients on treatment and HIV positive individuals.
• Expansion to international-level advocacy: Due to the success of F4L’s TB and HIV/AIDS advocacy at the South Africa AIDS Conference, the organization was invited to facilitate an event at the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) in December 2013.

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