South Africa: Deputy President Mashatile Convenes Special Meeting Ahead of World TB Day

Deputy President Paul Mashatile convened and chaired a Special Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC).

Deputy President Mashatile is the sixth Chairperson of SANAC after President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed him to chair the council as part of his delegated responsibilities.

SANAC is a multi-sectoral body comprising government, civil society, business, labour, and development partners established to create a collective response to HIV, TB and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in South Africa.

According to a statement released on Thursday, the IMC was briefed on preparations for the forthcoming World TB Day, which will be observed on 24 March 2023.

This year's World TB Day will take place under the theme, "Yes! You and I Can End TB".

Deputy President Mashatile will head South Africa's World TB Day commemoration at the Tlhabane Stadium in Rustenburg, in the North West.

"The commemorative event aims to raise public awareness about tuberculosis and its catastrophic health, social, and economic implications for individuals and communities, as well as to increase efforts to avoid further disease spread and loss of life," the statement read.

In addition, the IMC deliberated on the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV, TB and STIs 2023 - 2028.

The NSP was approved by a Cabinet early this month and will officially be launched as part of the World TB Day commemoration activities.

The NSP provides a framework at a strategic level for a multi-sectoral approach to eliminate HIV, TB and STIs as public health threats by 2030.

The new NSP, according to the statement, is aligned with relevant national and global strategies. These include the World Health Organisation's Global Health Sector Strategies on HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections for 2022 - 2030, Stop TB Partnership's Global Plan to End TB 2023 - 2030, and South Africa's National Development Plan Vision 2030.

Deputy President Mashatile was encouraged by the progress that SANAC has made.

"Since the inception of SANAC, the country has made remarkable strides in limiting the impact of HIV, TB and STIs and its impact on people and communities," he said.

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