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Our Mission

Combining stories and science to make the world TB Proof.

We don’t want a single person to get sick with Tuberculosis. That is what it means to end TB and have a TB Proof world.

We aim to achieve that through combining stories and science. Through involving communities affected by TB and using the latest research, we advocate for high quality TB prevention and care.

TB Proof aims to

Build advocacy capacity

Build advocacy capacity among TB affected communities and provide platforms where they can contribute to improving TB prevention and care.

Mobilize resources for TB

Mobilize resources for TB prevention and care through community activism and evidence based advocacy in collaboration with national and global partners.

Reduce TB stigma

Destigmatize all forms of TB through interventions aimed at improving TB knowledge in communities and by encouraging affected people to share their experiences.

Make health facilities safe

Advocate for safe healthcare environments for health workers and communities.

Pursue health equity

Pursue health equity by advocating for person centred, high quality TB prevention and care for everyone affected by TB.

History

TB Proof was started in 2012 by health workers who developed occupational TB and students passionate about TB prevention.

Our initial focus was on preventing the spread of TB in healthcare facilities through advocacy and education. Since then, we have expanded our advocacy efforts to include access to high quality TB treatment, addressing stigma and improving support to people affected by TB. We are using our strengths as an advocacy organization to support community health workers as TB champions who are now also fighting against COVID-19 transmission in our communities.

Staff

Ingrid Schoeman | Operational Manager

I developed drug-resistant TB while working as a dietitian in a public hospital in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The TB treatment side effects caused liver failure and I was in a coma. TB changed my life and today I am a passionate TB advocate.

Wieda Human |     Project Coordinator & Communications Officer

Growing up in South Africa, I have seen the detrimental impact that TB has on those affected too many times. I have a particular interest in the role that nutrition-related factors play in TB drug adherence and the nutritional status of TB patients.

TB has resulted in too many deaths, caused too much heartbreak and has stolen the potential of too many people. It is time to end TB!

Michelle Galloway | Administrator

I have been a part of the TB Proof team since August 2017. Having studied Dietetics, I developed a passion for TB advocacy whilst working in the hospitals as part of my 4th year Internship. Seeing the struggles of patients and health care workers alike motivated me to become involved with advocacy for better TB care.

Phumeza Tisile | Advocacy Officer

I am a 30-year-old (2020) and live in Cape Town. In 2010, I was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was forced to stop my studies at Cape Peninsula University of Technology to go for treatment. Despite this my condition did not improve, and after about five months of treatment, first for “normal” TB and then for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), I was finally diagnosed with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), the deadliest form of the disease.

Portia Muedi | Community Health Worker

I am a community health worker and previously worked for the Ward Based Outreach Team under the City of Tshwane from 2014 to 2017. I am proud to be a part of the fight against TB.

Goodman Makanda | Advocacy Officer

I am a DR-TB survivor and passionate TB activist from Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

I want my TB journey to inspire others that are currently on TB treatment to keep fighting and to do advocacy for better TB treatment and diagnostic tools.

Board Members

Ruvandhi Nathavitharana | Chairperson

When addressing diseases such as TB, it is essential that clinicians and scientists also have a dual role as activists to ensure that scientific advances benefit everyone. As an infectious diseases clinician scientist and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, I am passionate about contributing knowledge and insights gained from my clinical practice (in the U.S.) and research (in South Africa and Peru) to use evidence-based advocacy to improve the care of all people affected by TB. I am proud of the work that TB Proof does to amplify the voices of TB survivors and affected communities who should be front and centre of our social, economic and political responses to end TB.

Helene-Mari van der Westhuizen | Vice - Chair

As doctor working in South Africa, I saw the impact of TB every single day. Every time I hear someone cough, TB is what I think of as an automatic reflex. But when I treat someone with TB, it is also a reflex to think of the personal experiences of many of my TB Proof colleagues. They have brave stories of combating stigma, persevering through debilitating treatment side effects and offering their stories of hope to others. This has motivated me to research how to prevent the spread of TB, especially in rural areas in South Africa.

Peter Ngo’la Owiti | Treasurer

I am the founder and executive director for Wote Youth Development Projects, a youth Community Based HIV/TB advocacy organization which advocates against the spread of Tuberculosis HIV and AIDS through drama, dance and edutainment in Makueni County, Kenya. I have been personally affected by TB at household level and have experience in patient support and care having been involved in nursing my son, nephew and late sister, who all had TB.

Ingrid Schoeman | Secretary

I developed drug-resistant TB while working as a dietitian in a public hospital in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The TB treatment side effects caused liver failure and I was in a coma. TB changed my life and today I am a passionate TB advocate.

Phumeza Tisile |
New Member Engagement

I am a 30-year-old (2020) and live in Cape Town. In 2010, I was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was forced to stop my studies at Cape Peninsula University of Technology to go for treatment. Despite this my condition did not improve, and after about five months of treatment, first for “normal” TB and then for multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), I was finally diagnosed with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), the deadliest form of the disease.

Ilsa Hausler |
Proposal Writing

I am a paediatric doctor and TB researcher working in London. There is so much we don’t understand about TB…but there is also so much we DO understand. We have a responsibility to use this knowledge and work together, with strong and committed leadership, to move toward a TBfree world. We can all work on getting the basics right
– equitable and timely access to diagnostics, treatment and compassionate care.

Goodman Makanda |
Patient Support

I am a DR-TB survivor and passionate TB activist from Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

I want my TB journey to inspire others that are currently on TB treatment to keep fighting and to do advocacy for better TB treatment and diagnostic tools.

Core Group Volunteer Members

Ananja van der Westhuizen

As a health care worker in South Africa, TB is an important and unavoidable conversation. I aim to raise awareness about the important role that infection prevention and control plays in preventing health care workers from contracting TB in the workplace. I hope to reduce the stigma associated with a diagnosis of TB by empowering others and sharing stories of people from all corners of the earth who have been affected by TB. Let’s keep talking until nobody has to die from a disease that is curable.

Andrea von Delft

As a physiotherapist, I knew about TB, but not enough. I was generally thinking, “it’s out there.” It wasn’t until my husband, a medical doctor, was diagnosed with TB, that I realise that anyone can get TB and that health workers are particular at risk of contracting TB.

Arne von Delft

I experienced the horror of dealing with DR-TB as a supporting husband, clinician, and an infected contact. My wife, Dalene, also a doctor, received optimal access to care for occupational MDR-TB, including first-ever compassionate access to hearing- and career-saving bedaquiline, but I still await safe and effective DR-TB preventive treatment options. We co-founded TB Proof to advocate for improved prevention and care for all people affected by TB, and to end all forms of stigma and discrimination.

Bart Willems

In 2012, I swam four and a half laps of the Long Street pool in Cape Town entirely under water. When I surfaced, I covered a distance of 114 m and have broken the South African freediving record. This win was made extra special by the fact that I recovered from TB five years earlier.

Koot Kotze

Being part of TB Proof has been an opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded advocates aiming for the same goal. It has been special to see this organisation grow from 2013 and I have learnt so much from the rest of the TB Proof family. Support our work – it is making a difference!

Peter Ngo’la Owiti

I am the founder and executive director for Wote Youth Development Projects, a youth Community Based HIV/TB advocacy organization which advocates against the spread of Tuberculosis HIV and AIDS through drama, dance and edutainment in Makueni County, Kenya. I have been personally affected by TB at household level and have experience in patient support and care having been involved in nursing my son, nephew and late sister, who all had TB.

Rachel Mbuyamba

My vision is to contribute towards the management of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB by doing research that will help to improve the health care. As a medical researcher and an activist, my focus is on preventing the development of drug resistance TB, including research to support universal access to TB prevention. I believe that, health is a fundamental human right and I’m passionate about my commitment to creating a TB free world.

Renier Coetzee

I am a pharmacist and associate professor at the University of the Western Cape. I am passionate to find ways to collaborate with various role players and stakeholders to strengthen the health care system and towards establishing the clinical pharmacist as an integral member of the healthcare system.

Thato Mosidi

I have had XDR TB and received both bedaquiline and linezolid as part of my treatment regimen (in the compassionate use programme). The aspect of TB Proof that I find truly valuable, and that sets us apart from other organisations, is the personal experiences that we have had with TB. The patient advocacy that originates from our journeys is unparalleled. Instead of just telling our stories of surviving TB, we have been more effective by placing ourselves in strategic groups and affecting policy directly.

Wubshet Tolossa

I was first diagnosed with tuberculosis, while being a medical Intern at Jimma University Specialized Hospital, Ethiopia. I started treatment as soon as I was diagnosed. However, things were not getting any better despite being on treatment. Waking up without sweat-soaked pyjamas and bed sheets became unthinkable. Being hundreds of kilometres away from home, also made things much worse. But somehow, I made it through this and today I am a proud TB survivor.

Thabo Robert Pelesane

I was diagnosed with TB more than once. In 2008, I experienced internal bleeding and almost lost my right lung. That experience made me realise just how deadly TB can be, if one ignores treatment. Being a national TB ambassador, I use my TB survivor story to inform the public that anyone that breathes, can get TB. We should not stigmatise against TB, it can happen to anyone.

I am also the founder of the Thabo Pelesane Foundation, which aims to raise awareness about TB and which distributes sanitary pads to young girls.

Phindile Khumalo

I am a proud community health worker and TB survivor. I use my story of defeating TB to encourage other TB patients to not give up the fight against TB and to continue taking their treatment. Together, we can #EndTB.

Siddhi Nadkarni

As a student studying Global Health with a focus on immunology at Brown University, I am passionate about finding safer, less toxic, and more equitable methods of treatment for TB, as we collectively work to end the stigma surrounding it. I hope to apply my findings to contribute to a more effective universal TB vaccine to protect patients and healthcare workers alike. I also strive to raise greater awareness of TB among student communities to emphasize the need for sustained research, activism, and a dedication to greater health equity as we work to combat this disease.

Alex P. Margery

I am a senior National HIV and TB activist working with Tanzania National Network of People with HIV and TB. As an activist and TB survivor, I have the big role to save the community living with HIV from contacting TB as its part of opportunistic infection associated with HIV.

My message to the activists who are working tirelessly to support the community against contracting TB or HIV. We have a responsibility to use the knowledge we acquired from different TB training globally, we should commit Leadership, to move toward a TB-free world.

Jeremy Hill

I am an Australian TB doctor and public health practitioner. I first encountered the suffering inflicted by TB while caring for patients with drug-resistant TB in Papua New Guinea. It is a terrible disease, and one that affects poor and marginalized communities with a special venom. I believe that affected communities, advocates and healthcare workers must act together to fight TB and demand that decision makers do so also. This is what motivates me as a clinician, researcher, programme implementer and member of TB Proof!

Priya Amin

I remember fearing my diagnosis of pulmonary and presumed extra pulmonary TB. What I didn’t know then, but solidly know now, is that there is a local and global community of committed humans working tirelessly to educate, treat, research, and raise awareness for this preventable and curable disease. I am humbled at the opportunity to share my voice and efforts in the fight to eradicate TB while focusing on improving patient care resources, and knowledge so the next patient, feels supported, empowered, and hopeful. You are not alone.

Chulumanco Scwebu

I am a DR-TB survivor who is passionate about TB advocacy and Youth Development. I am a proud ambassador of TB awareness among Youth and Young adults. I am a firm believer that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. I am hopeful for a TB free world in our lifetime!

Jade October

I am a 21-year old BA Criminology student at UNISA. Currently I find myself on the frontline as a worker in the private healthcare sector. I am very passionate about children with a huge heart to help others in less fortunate predicaments.

Believe Dhiliwayo

I am passionate about TB. To be precise, to eradicate TB and to help those suffering from and affected by TB. As a frontline health care worker and a TB survivor, I am motivated to work towards ending TB through advocacy and TB treatment literacy. My message to those who are fighting against TB: You are not alone – even when it feels like it. There are many who have walked this path, and remember there are many frontline health workers who will cheer you on all the way to recovery. I hope that you will soon be cured from TB and join us in the fight against TB.

Nondwe Zama

I am from Cape Town, South Africa and manage mainly TB research projects at the Grants, Innovation and Product Development Unit of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). Besides my work at the SAMRC, I am involved in TB advocacy through TB Proof. TB affected several members of my family and some even succumbed to it hence I’m very dedicated to do my part to eradicate this curable disease.

Chyrese Coetser

I was diagnosed with TB in 2012 and immediately felt stigmatised, being isolated from normal society feeling almost unclean. Treatment was difficult for the first month and thereafter no side effects were seen. I was grateful to come out the other end alive. Then in 2016, I was misdiagnosed with MDR-TB and treatment was started immediately. I had no symptoms, no signs of TB. I was a healthy 36-year old who went in for regular testing. I would love to see the stigma attached to TB changed and the treatment of the infected by society improved.

Samantha Donnellan

I am a researcher at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom. My research focuses on drug discovery against intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis. I am interested in developing physiological relevant drug screening assays for TB, which can screen novel nano-drugs which offer increased bioavailability and improved drug targeting.

In 2021, I will begin a lectureship in Biomedical Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University, where I will continue TB-based research.

Dalene von Delft

I was diagnosed with MDR-TB on Christmas Eve of 2010. What followed was a harrowing 19 months of treatment, during which I had to make some potentially life-threatening decisions in an attempt to preserve my hearing and career. I had optimal access to all forms of care, but the vast majority of other patients are not nearly as lucky. I became a very motivated TB patient/physician advocate, campaigning for more effective, safer and equitable treatment options on local and global platforms.

Zolelwa Sifumba

I contracted TB as a medical student while doing clinical rotations in hospitals in Cape Town. In October 2012, I was diagnosed with Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis Lymphadenitis and had to take TB treatment for about 2 years. Being diagnosed with TB came as a huge shock for as I didn’t have any of the risk factors associated with TB, except that I was a healthcare worker, working in hospitals where infection control measures aren’t always implemented.

Busisiwe Beko

I had MDR-TB while I was pregnant. I am also a social worker and a passionate TB activist who advocates for optimal support for patients and their families.

Core Group Volunteer Members

Ananja van der Westhuizen

As a health care worker in South Africa, TB is an important and unavoidable conversation. I aim to raise awareness about the important role that infection prevention and control plays in preventing health care workers from contracting TB in the workplace. I hope to reduce the stigma associated with a diagnosis of TB by empowering others and sharing stories of people from all corners of the earth who have been affected by TB. Let’s keep talking until nobody has to die from a disease that is curable.

Andrea von Delft

As a physiotherapist, I knew about TB, but not enough. I was generally thinking, “it’s out there.” It wasn’t until my husband, a medical doctor, was diagnosed with TB, that I realise that anyone can get TB and that health workers are particular at risk of contracting TB.

Arne von Delft

I experienced the horror of dealing with DR-TB as a supporting husband, clinician, and an infected contact. My wife, Dalene, also a doctor, received optimal access to care for occupational MDR-TB, including first-ever compassionate access to hearing- and career-saving bedaquiline, but I still await safe and effective DR-TB preventive treatment options. We co-founded TB Proof to advocate for improved prevention and care for all people affected by TB, and to end all forms of stigma and discrimination.

Bart Willems

In 2012, I swam four and a half laps of the Long Street pool in Cape Town entirely under water. When I surfaced, I covered a distance of 114 m and have broken the South African freediving record. This won was made extra special by the fact that I recovered from TB five years earlier.

Koot Kotze

Being part of TB Proof has been an opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded advocates aiming for the same goal. It has been special to see this organisation grow from 2013 and I have learnt so much from the rest of the TB Proof family. Support our work – it is making a difference!

Peter Ngo’la Owiti

I am the founder and executive director for Wote Youth Development Projects, a youth Community Based HIV/TB advocacy organization which advocates against the spread of Tuberculosis HIV and AIDS through drama, dance and edutainment in Makueni County, Kenya. I have been personally affected by TB at household level and have experience in patient support and care having been involved in nursing my son, nephew and late sister, who all had TB.

Rachel Mbuyamba

My vision is to contribute towards the management of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and TB by doing research that will help to improve the health care. As a medical researcher and an activist, my focus is on preventing the development of drug resistance TB, including research to support universal access to TB prevention. I believe that, health is a fundamental human right and I’m passionate about my commitment to creating a TB free world.

Renier Coetzee

I am a pharmacist and associated professor at the University of the Western Cape. I am passionate to find ways to collaborate with various role players and stakeholders to strengthen the health care system and towards establishing the clinical pharmacist as an integral member of the healthcare system.

Thato Mosidi

I have had XDR TB and received both bedaquiline and linezolid as part of my treatment regimen (in the compassionate use programme). The aspect of TB Proof that I find truly valuable, and that sets us apart from other organisations, is the personal experiences that we have had with TB. The patient advocacy that originates from our journeys is unparalleled. Instead of just telling our stories of surviving TB, we have been more effective by placing ourselves in strategic groups and affecting policy directly.

Wubshet Tolossa

I was first diagnosed with tuberculosis, while being a medical Intern at Jimma University Specialized Hospital, Ethiopia. I started treatment as soon as I was diagnosed. However, things were not getting any better despite being on treatment. Waking up without sweat-soaked pyjamas and bed sheets became unthinkable. Being hundreds of kilometres away from home, also made things much worse. But somehow, I made it through this and today I am a proud TB survivor.

Thabo Robert Pelesane

I was diagnosed with TB more than once. In 2008, I experienced internal bleeding and almost lost my right lung. That experience made me realise just how deadly TB can be, if one ignores treatment. Being a national TB ambassador, I use my TB survivor story to inform the public that anyone that breathes, can get TB. We should not stigmatise against TB, it can happen to anyone.

I am also the founder of the Thabo Pelesane Foundation, which aims to raise awareness about TB and which distributes sanitary pads to young girls.

Phindile Khumalo

I am a proud community health worker and TB survivor. I use my story of defeating TB to encourage other TB patients to not give up the fight against TB and to continue taking their treatment. Together, we can #EndTB.

Siddhi Nadkarni

As a student studying Global Health with a focus on immunology at Brown University, I am passionate about finding safer, less toxic, and more equitable methods of treatment for TB, as we collectively work to end the stigma surrounding it.I hope to apply my findings to contribute to a more effective universal TB vaccine to protect patients and healthcare workers alike. I also strive to raise greater awareness of TB among student communities to emphasize the need for sustained research, activism, and a dedication to greater health equity as we work to combat this disease.

Alex P. Margery

I am a senior National HIV and TB activist working with Tanzania National Network of People with HIV and TB. As an activist and TB survivor, I have the big role to save the community living with HIV from contacting TB as its part of opportunistic infection associated with HIV.

My message to the activists who are working tirelessly to support the community against contracting TB or HIV. We have a responsibility to use the knowledge we acquired from different TB training globally, we should commit Leadership, to move toward a TB-free world.

Jeremy Hill

I am an Australian TB doctor and public health practitioner. I first encountered the suffering inflicted by TB while caring for patients with drug-resistant TB in Papua New Guinea. It is a terrible disease, and one that affects poor and marginalized communities with a special venom. I believe that affected communities, advocates and healthcare workers must act together to fight TB and demand that decision makers do so also. This is what motivates me as a clinician, researcher, programme implementer and member of TB Proof!

Priya Amin

I remember fearing my diagnosis of pulmonary and presumed extra pulmonary TB. What I didn’t know then, but solidly know now, is that there is a local and global community of committed humans working tirelessly to educate, treat, research, and raise awareness for this preventable and curable disease. I am humbled at the opportunity to share my voice and efforts in the fight to eradicate TB while focusing on improving patient care resources, and knowledge so the next patient, feels supported, empowered, and hopeful. You are not alone.

Chulumanco Scwebu

I am a DR-TB survivor who is passionate about TB advocacy and Youth Development. I am a proud ambassador of TB awareness among Youth and Young adults. I am a firm believer that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. I am hopeful for a TB free world in our lifetime!

Jade October

I am a 21-year old BA Criminology student at UNISA. Currently I find myself on the frontline as a worker in the private healthcare sector. I am very passionate about children with a huge heart to help others in less fortunate predicaments.

Believe Dhiliwayo

I am passionate about TB. To be precise, to eradicate TB and to help those suffering from and affected by TB. As a frontline health care worker and a TB survivor, I am motivated to work towards ending TB through advocacy and TB treatment literacy. My message to those who are fighting against TB: You are not alone – even when it feels like it. There are many who have walked this path, and remember there are many frontline health workers who will cheer you on all the way to recovery. I hope that you will soon be cured from TB and join us in the fight against TB.

Nondwe Zama

I am from Cape Town, South Africa and manage mainly TB research projects at the Grants, Innovation and Product Development Unit of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). Besides my work at the SAMRC, I am involved in TB advocacy through TB Proof. TB affected several members of my family and some even succumbed to it hence I’m very dedicated to do my part to eradicate this curable disease.

Chyrese Coetser

I was diagnosed with TB in 2012 and immediately felt stigmatised, being isolated from normal society feeling almost unclean. Treatment was difficult for the first month and thereafter no side effects were seen. I was grateful to come out the other end alive. Then in 2016, I was misdiagnosed with MDR-TB and treatment was started immediately. I had no symptoms, no signs of TB. I was a healthy 36-year old who went in for regular testing. I would love to see the stigma attached to TB changed and the treatment of the infected by society improved.

Samantha Donnellan

I am a researcher at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom. My research focuses on drug discovery against intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis. I am interested in developing physiological relevant drug screening assays for TB, which can screen novel nano-drugs which offer increased bioavailability and improved drug targeting.

In 2021, I will begin a lectureship in Biomedical Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University, where I will continue TB-based research.

Dalene von Delft

I was diagnosed with MDR-TB on Christmas Eve of 2010. What followed was a harrowing 19 months of treatment, during which I had to make some potentially life-threatening decisions in an attempt to preserve my hearing and career. I had optimal access to all forms of care, but the vast majority of other patients are not nearly as lucky. I became a very motivated TB patient/physician advocate, campaigning for more effective, safer and equitable treatment options on local and global platforms.

Zolelwa Sifumba

I contracted TB as a medical student while doing clinical rotations in hospitals in Cape Town. In October 2012, I was diagnosed with Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis Lymphadenitis and had to take TB treatment for about 2 years. Being diagnosed with TB came as a huge shock for as I didn’t have any of the risk factors associated with TB, except that I was a healthcare worker, working in hospitals where infection control measures aren’t always implemented.

Are you passionate about ending TB? Then, we would like to hear from you!

Our group of members include passionate TB activists, TB survivors, healthcare workers and community members. Click Here to find out more information about our membership terms and conditions. This document describes the Core Group membership and the difference regarding Wider Group membership.

Once you have finished reading the terms of reference and would like to be a TB Proof member, please complete the online TB Proof Member Application Form, Click Here. Once we’ve received your application, we will be in touch as soon as possible.