School pupils will be enlisted to fight tuberculosis (TB) as part of a new campaign launched by Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi at the Greenbury Primary School, in Durban, on Wednesday.
"We need to strengthen our efforts in preaching prevention if we are to make any meaningful dent on the TB scourge," said KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo, who accompanied Motsoaledi.
"The campaign seeks to combat TB as well as the stigma associated with it, by fusing sport and social mobilisation," said Dhlomo's spokesman Chris Maxon.
In a statement, Maxon said the "Kick TB" campaign was being implemented at more than 300 schools in KwaZulu-Natal, where there were about 119,000 cases of TB a year. He said pupils were being taught the symptoms of TB and were being asked to each teach another five people a day to spread the message of TB prevention.
"Currently our cure rate is around 50% and the World Health Organisation wants all nations to reach 85% cure rate by 2014," said Maxon. "It is for this reason that we have launched such a campaign," he said. The department was trying to create a platform through which TB-appropriate messages would be effectively conveyed. - (Sapa, June 2010)