Tuberculosis (TB) preventive therapy has been transformed in recent years, with treatment duration having been cut from six or more months to just three or one. Progress in developing new treatments to prevent drug-resistant forms of TB has however lagged behind, especially in children. Elri Voigt unpacks findings from a major new TB prevention study presented at the Union World Conference on Lung Health last week and plans for another important preventive therapy trial set to start soon.
At the age of 19 Phumeza Tisile contracted multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. For four years she battled the disease, losing her hearing in the process. At one stage, a doctor told her to visit a priest and prepare her soul for death. Recently, Tisile (now 33) made it on to TIME magazine’s 2023 TIME100 Next list, as one of 100 emerging leaders round the world who are “shaping the future and defining the next generation of leadership”. Sue Segar chatted to Tisile about her remarkable journey.
For the past 128 years, a hospital tucked away on what was once a rural farm in Johannesburg East has been fighting to turn the tables on a disease that has plagued humankind for millennia. Ufrieda Ho has the latest in Spotlight’s special series of ‘Hospital Histories’.
In 1984, the then-head of Brooklyn Chest TB Hospital, Dr David Jenkin lamented inadequate services for TB patients, writing that “it is unflattering to realize that only war and pestilence appear able to bring more beds for TB sufferers”. Almost 40 years later, despite major scientific advances, TB hospitals like Brooklyn Chest remain important for treating complicated forms of the disease, where specialised healthcare staff can monitor medication interactions and side-effects. Biénne Huisman takes a look back at the hospital’s 151-year history and the difference it is making in the lives of children with TB today.
In 2021, an estimated 304 000 people in South Africa fell ill with tuberculosis and 56 000 died from the disease, according to new World Health Organization (WHO) figures released on Thursday. Elri Voigt unpacks the latest findings and asks local experts for their responses.
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.
Tuberculosis (TB) preventive therapy is highly effective in preventing TB disease and death, yet only a few people have access to it. Tiyese Jeranji reports on how Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Khayelitsha is helping TB patients, as well as their contacts, access preventive therapy in the comfort of their homes as part of a new family-centred TB care initiative.
The screening, diagnosis, and treatment of tuberculosis (TB) in children remain far from optimal – and in many respects lags behind what can be done for adults. Elri Voigt rounds up five developments in paediatric TB presented at the 52nd Union World Conference on Lung Health.
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.
A World Health Organization report published last week showed more people are falling ill with tuberculosis in South Africa than previously thought – but also that the country’s treatment success rate for dangerous drug-resistant forms of the disease have improved. Amy Green asks what’s behind these numbers.
A leading TB doctor says that “it is no exaggeration to say there is a TB crisis in the country”, and that “the impact of this crisis could be even more devastating than COVID-19”. Kathryn Cleary explores the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on South Africa’s TB response and the way forward.
Tuberculosis (TB) testing rates are down by almost half and dramatically fewer TB patients are starting treatment. Kathryn Cleary takes an in-depth look at the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdown on TB services in South Africa.