A new report from the Lancet Commission on Tuberculosis (TB) titled ‘Scientific advances and the end of tuberculosis’ makes several recommendations for how governments should go about fighting the deadly, but curable, disease. Spotlight editor Marcus Low puts the Spotlight on how South Africa’s TB programme is measuring up against the recommendations.
While there is limited data on tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa’s schools, a growing body of evidence suggests that there is indeed significant TB transmission taking place in the country’s often over-crowded classrooms. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to several local experts about what we do and do not know about the impact this age-old disease is having on our learners and their households.
The South African TB Recovery Plan was developed to try and reverse the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s TB response. On World TB Day, authors from TB Proof (a leading TB activist group) assess how the recovery is going and identify four key areas where further intervention is needed.
South Africa’s recently published guidelines for the treatment of tuberculosis (TB) infection have been welcomed by several experts. Among others, the guidelines endorse the use of a three-month course of TB preventive therapy as opposed to the old six-month course. But, while the intention is to roll out the three-month course quite widely, supply constraints may delay things. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
New tuberculosis infection guidelines released ahead of World TB Day are another important step in the right direction for South Africa’s TB response, argues Spotlight editor Marcus Low, while also warning of the substantial implementation challenges that remain.
The rollout of new TB prevention medicines in South Africa has progressed slower than expected and new TB prevention guidelines have been delayed. But, reports Catherine Tomlinson, new guidelines should soon be approved and things appear to be falling into place for a faster rollout of the new medicines.
Long-acting injections have been successfully used as contraception and more recently HIV prevention. Now researchers are exploring whether similar long-acting injections could be used for the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
COVID-19 will continue to dominate headlines in 2022, but from National Health Insurance to the availability of a new HIV prevention injection, it will also be an important year for other areas of health service delivery and for health system governance and reforms. Here is Spotlight’s pick of the top ten issues to keep an eye on.
The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns have dealt a severe blow to South Africa’s tuberculosis (TB) response. Tiyese Jeranji asked government about its plans to get TB diagnosis, treatment, and prevention services back on track.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused huge setbacks for the fight against TB. Now, provinces are developing TB catch-up plans. The Western Cape Department of Health will soon launch a TB dashboard as part of its “multi-sectorial TB emergency response plan”. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
After various delays and setbacks, a new, less toxic, short-course tuberculosis preventive therapy called 3HP is finally being launched in six districts in South Africa. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
Like with SARS-CoV2, we need to rapidly implement and scale-up effective tuberculosis (TB) prevention interventions, while remaining adaptive to prevailing needs across the country. If we choose to pursue this more deliberate approach to TB prevention in South Africa, World TB Day will no longer be an admission of insufficient progress, but a celebration of defeating our long-standing battle with this curable disease, writes Dr Kavindhran Velen and Professor Salome Charalambous.