TB put into the spotlight

Estelle Ellis

TB AWARENESS Month started on Saturday with the World Health Organisation (WHO) highlighting the scourge of multi-drug- resistant TB (MDR-TB), saying it is a public health crisis.

The Eastern Cape has one of the highest numbers of diagnosed MDR- TB cases in the country.

In a special report last month, the WHO said there was a huge gap between the number of people who were getting ill with MDR-TB and the number of people who were diagnosed and treated.

More than 12000 people were diagnosed with multi-drug-resistant TB in the Eastern Cape between 2004 and 2012, according to National Health Laboratory Service statistics.

Research published in the South African Medical Journal ranks the Eastern Cape as the province with the second highest number of MDR-TB cases in SA.

Last year alone 2205 new cases of MDR-TB were diagnosed in the Eastern Cape. This is more than 10 times the number of confirmed cases in 2004.

 

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