South Africa: Government Should Also Look At Itself When It Came to the Fight Against TB - Mabuza

Tuberculosis can be cured.

Deputy President David Mabuza was critical of the government's role in tackling TB and HIV/ Aids and has suggested a review process for everyone involved, from the nursing staff on the ground to hospital CEOs and MECs.

"Government should also look at itself when it came to the fight against TB and HIV/Aids," Mabuza, who also chairs the South African National Aids Council, said.

He was speaking at a World TB Day event in Durban on Thursday.

He said that the government was "not doing well".

"You arrive at the hospital and there's no medication and sometimes the light bulbs are broken and not fixed. We should sort that out, to be prepared to fight these diseases," he said.

Traditional leaders

The deputy president added that the capacity of the state must be improved.

"People should not arrive at the clinic and wait for hours while a hospital worker is on a two-hour lunch break. We do have mistakes as government, but we will fix them," he promised.

Mabuza added that traditional leaders also have a role to play, pointing out that they were close to the communities they led.

These traditional leaders should be out at the centre of each programme tackling TB.

According to Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, TB is the number one killer in the world.

"There's no disease that kills more people than TB in the whole world. In the world, 1.5 million people die from TB every while 40 000 people die as a result of TB in our country every year," he added.

He revealed that the eThekwini metro municipality, on Gauteng's East Rand, was the metro which was worst affected by TB in South Africa.

TB patients are encouraged to take their medication for six months.

Symptoms of TB include coughing for more than two weeks, sweating while asleep at night, loss of appetite and coughing up blood.

People who have symptoms are encouraged to seek medical attention so that they can start treatment immediately.

Source: News24

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