TB Awareness Videos
Health Talk Occupational TB survivors discussed the increased risk of health workers to contract TB on SABC’s Health Talk.
Helene-Mari van der Westhuizen discussed on Newzroom Afrika that the mask-wearing habit could be important to also prevent the transmission of TB.
To commemorate World TB Day 2019, Bart Willems and Thato Mosidi, both health workers and TB survivors, joined the Expresso show for an in-depth TB discussion.
For women’s month, Dalene von Delft was interviewed on the Expresso show where she discussed more about her difficult TB journey.
Medical practitioners in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape explained that the wide-spread failure of TB patients completing their treatment makes it increasingly difficult to control the spread of XDR-TB. Most patients also battle with the stigma attached to the disease.
TB Proof has contributed to scientific evidence as part of our TB advocacy tactics.
Tuberculosis care does not end at treatment completion— a perspective from tuberculosis survivors
COVID-19 and tuberculosis in South Africa
The high-quality health system ‘revolution: Re-imagining TB IPC
Measuring TB-related stigma
Agents of change: The role of healthcare workers in the prevention of nosocomial and occupational tuberculosis
The devil we know: is the use of injectable agents for the treatment of MDR-TB justified?
When students become patients: TB disease among medical undergraduates in Cape Town, South Africa
Engaging health-care workers to reduce tuberculosis
A Patient’s Tale
TB Questions and Answers
Some people are at higher risk due to their immune status such as Diabetes and being on treatment that suppresses the immune system like Chemotherapy (Centers for Disease Prevention and Control).
Some people are at higher risk to develop TB disease due to the type of work that they are doing, such as miners or health care workers. However, in countries where TB is very common, all you need to be a risk of developing TB is to breathe.
TB remains the leading infectious disease killer in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2020) reported that in 2019, 10 million people fell ill with TB and 1,4 million died. In South Africa, TB is the leading overall cause of mortality with a reported 58 000 deaths in 2019, despite it being a preventable and curable disease.
When a person with TB disease coughs, sneezes or talks, the TB bacteria are expelled in the air. The bacteria can stay in the air for a few hours, depending on the ventilation in the room. An uninfected person can inhale the TB bacteria and get infected with TB. This person may not present with TB symptoms as the bacteria can be dormant in the body. This is called latent TB (Aurum Institute, online). Yet, latent TB can progress to TB disease in one in ten people (WHO, online). Once someone is diagnosed with TB disease and starts TB treatment, the risk for transmission to others decreases dramatically.
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The most common form of TB is pulmonary TB or TB of the lungs.
TB can affect any part of the human body, from the brain to the toes. This type of TB is then called extrapulmonary TB (outside of the lungs).
TB treatment includes oral medication which is usually taken for six months, but it can depend on the type of TB a person has. The treatment can be difficult to take due to the number of pills. Some of the treatment side effects can be frustrating but not dangerous (for example making your urine and tears orange) but others can indicate a more dangerous problem. An example is vomiting and pain over the right side of the abdomen can be a sign of liver problems (National Tuberculosis Management Guidelines, 2014).
Recently, two new drugs, Bedaquiline and Delamanid, have been introduced by the South African Department of Health for use in all patients with DR-TB to replace the injectable drug (South African Government, 2018).
For information aimed at health workers about potential side effects of drug-resistant TB medication please visit this link: MDR-TB Pocket Guide, 2018
Health care workers should wear N95 respirators when seeing TB patients create a tight seal around their face and help to filter the TB bacteria in the air.
Many clinics and hospitals provide support groups for TB patients. Support groups provide an essential platform where TB patients and TB survivors can freely share about their TB experiences. Goodman Makanda, a TB advocate and TB survivor from Khayelitsha said, “My support group helped to keep me alive, it was where I was able to talk to someone who understood what I was going through”.
Remember you are not alone. Contact the toll free helpline accessible from South Africa at 0800 012 322.
You can also join our TB Proof community. Click here to find out more on how to join TB Proof.