Tuberculosis

02 April 2012

Celebrity raises TB awareness in KZN

In a bid to create awareness around the issue of tuberculosis local celebrity Gerry Elsdon was enlisted to visit provincial taxi ranks, the KwaZulu-Natal health department said.

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KwaZulu-Natal has had the highest number of TB cases of all provinces for a number of years and in 2010 this stood at 120 421 cases of which 27 913 were new smear positive.

In a bid to create awareness around the issue of tuberculosis (TB) local celebrity Gerry Elsdon was enlisted to visit provincial taxi ranks, the KwaZulu-Natal health department said.

Elsdon, a global TB ambassador, visited Pinetown taxi rank after arriving in the province, departmental spokesman Chris Maxon said in a statement. On Friday Elsdon visited taxi ranks in Pietermaritzburg.

Hit the road and kick TB

Maxon said that eThekwini and uMgungundlovu were two districts where TB was once declared to be at crisis point.

Elsdon started a two-week walking campaign called the 'Hit the Road and Kick TB Walk for Humanity'.

She aimed to reach no fewer than 3-million South Africans from all walks of life, who were either in need of treatment or testing for the disease.

TB cases highest in KZN

"To do this, she visited the homes of patients, schools, TB hospitals and clinics, mines, prisons, schools, taxi ranks, and other areas and facilities with a high prevalence of TB," Maxon said.

"KwaZulu-Natal has had the highest number of TB cases of all provinces for a number of years and in 2010 this stood at 120 421 cases of which 27 913 were new smear positive," he said.

The cure rate in the province, however, improved from 34.8% in 2004, to 66.3% in 2009. The cure rate was now approaching 71.1%, which was the national average in 2009.

Elsdon said: "We are our brother's keepers – in other words, we are all responsible for each other".

(Sapa, April 2012) 

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