Msinga, the area in KwaZulu-Natal where the first cases of drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) were reported, is achieving a zero percentage defaulter rate, the health department said on Thursday.
Health spokesman Sibani Mngadi said the National TB Control
Programme had achieved the zero rate, meaning that all those receiving treatment for the disease were taking their medication as required.
The announcement by the department follows the escape by more than 30 TB patients from a hospital in Port Elizabeth last week.
Twenty-five patients with multi-drug-resistant TB, and eight with
extreme-drug-resistant TB, overpowered guards at the Jose Pearson hospital on Thursday last week, after taking off their protective masks.
'Reduction is an achievement'
Mngadi said the reduction in defaulter rate was one of the achievements of the National TB Control Programme that was expected to be highlighted by Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang at the national event to mark World TB day at Dannie Kuys Stadium in Upington.
Most of patients develop drug resistant TB because they previously
defaulted on TB treatment. All provinces had established TB treatment tracer teams of nurses and community health workers to follow up patients who default treatment.
The minister was expected to announce that an additional R33 million had been allocated to the programme, Mngadi said. – (Sapa)
Security tightened at TB hospitals
TB killed 1.7 million in 2006