Profile: Keertan Dheda – reflections on a career finding ways to fight TB

Professor Keertan Dheda has come a long way from growing up as one of three siblings in a one-bedroom apartment in a high-rise in central Durban. Biénne Huisman chatted to Dheda, now the head of the University of Cape Town’s Division of Pulmonology, and a Professor in Mycobacteriology and Global Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, about work-life balance, problem-solving that excites him, and a career dedicated to the fight against tuberculosis.

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What should the TB priorities be in the new NSP?

The period covered by South Africa’s National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV, TB, and STIs 2017 – 2022 will soon come to an end. Against the backdrop of another World TB Day, Tiyese Jeranji asked several local tuberculosis experts what they think the TB priorities should be as South Africa develops an NSP for the next five years.

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Health in 2021: Another tumultuous year in under a thousand words

It wasn’t rocket science when we predicted at the start of 2021 that South Africa’s biggest challenge this year would be to get COVID-19 shots into as many arms as possible. But the way it has played out with multiple setbacks and scrambling problem-solving is not something anyone could have predicted. In fewer than a thousand words, Spotlight editor Marcus Low takes a look back at a tumultuous year in health in South Africa.

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Family focus shows promise for TB prevention

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.

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Fingerstick blood test shows promise for TB screening

The World Health Organization estimates that over four million of the almost ten million people who fell ill with tuberculosis in 2020 were not diagnosed. One obstacle to more people being diagnosed is the fact that most current tests require people to produce sputum – something children and some people living with HIV find difficult. Tiyese Jeranji looks at a new fingerstick blood test that may help diagnose more people quicker.

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Opinion: Quality Tuberculosis care starts with people

The world is seeing tuberculosis (TB) deaths increase for the first time in over a decade. To turn things around and to put an end to TB being a leading infectious disease killer globally, we need to make sure the voices of people affected by TB are at the core of developing person-centered, quality TB care, free from stigma and discrimination, argue a group of TB experts and activists.

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