Treatment time can be cut by a third for most kids with TB

Treatment time can be cut by a third for most kids with TB

Tuberculosis treatment can be shortened from six to four months in 80% of children, according to findings from a landmark study. Amy green reports.

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TB catch-up plan underway in WC but old challenges linger

TB catch-up plan underway in WC but old challenges linger

In 2019 around 360 000 people in South Africa fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) and about 58 000 people died due to the disease, according to a World Health Organization Report released last week. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these already alarming numbers, with some TB patients stopping treatment during lockdown. Siyabonga Kamnqa looks at the plans the Western Cape Health Department has in place to get its TB programme back on track and finds old challenges still remain.

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TB treatment time cut by a third

TB treatment time cut by a third

A new four-month treatment course for drug-sensitive tuberculosis (the most common form of TB by far) is as safe and effective as the current six-month treatment course that has been in use since the 1980s, according to findings from a large new study. Amy Green reports.

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What is behind SA’s higher TB numbers?

What is behind SA’s higher TB numbers?

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.

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IN-DEPTH: The slow motion race for a TB vaccine

IN-DEPTH: The slow motion race for a TB vaccine

In recent months, the world has seen unprecedented investment in new vaccines. Yet, while a COVID-19 vaccine proven to be safe and effective may be less than a year away, a new tuberculosis vaccine might only be ready to be rolled out in a decade, despite a massive head start over COVID-19. Amy Green takes a closer look at the race for a new vaccine for the world’s top infectious disease killer.

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WHO estimates 20% more TB cases in SA than previously thought

WHO estimates 20% more TB cases in SA than previously thought

Around 20% more people are falling ill with tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa, than previously thought. This emerged from new estimates contained in the 2020 WHO World TB Report launched today.

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COVID-19: The fascinating science of what happens in the lungs

COVID-19: The fascinating science of what happens in the lungs

People with COVID-19 and people with tuberculosis (TB) can experience similar symptoms such as coughing and breathing difficulties as both diseases affect the lungs. Exactly how these diseases affect the lungs, however, differs. Tiyese Jeranji spoke to a leading South African pulmonologist to learn more.

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Opinion: Release of SA’s first National TB Prevalence Survey should not be delayed any longer

Opinion: Release of SA’s first National TB Prevalence Survey should not be delayed any longer

Even though it has been ready for months, findings of a critically important tuberculosis survey have not been made public. Every day that passes, the more outdated the findings become, and accordingly the less useful.

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Drop in DR-TB detection points to “crisis” in SA’s TB response

Drop in DR-TB detection points to “crisis” in SA’s TB response

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.

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Disability grant delays take heavy toll

Disability grant delays take heavy toll

During the strictest phases of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown, the South African Social Security Agency effectively stopped accepting new disability grant applications. Elri Voigt explores what happened and speaks to two applicants on the impact the disruptions have had on their lives.

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Libyan embassy allegedly pressuring SA workers to test for HIV

Libyan embassy allegedly pressuring SA workers to test for HIV

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is investigating allegations that South Africans working at the Libyan embassy in Pretoria were pressured to test and reveal their HIV status after asking to be tested for COVID-19.

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IN-DEPTH: Vaginal ring ushers in new era in HIV prevention

IN-DEPTH: Vaginal ring ushers in new era in HIV prevention

A recent announcement about a vaginal ring to prevent HIV has AIDS activists and women’s sexual and reproductive health advocates excited. But where would this ring fit in South Africa’s HIV prevention programme? Amy Green investigates.

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