Minister urges TB patients to complete treatment

Friday, March 20, 2009

Matlosane - Health Minister Barbara Hogan has urged Tuberculosis (TB) patients in the North West to complete their treatment.

"It is important that once a person is put on treatment, they should take their medicine accordingly to the directions provided by the nurses and doctors.They should also finish all their medication that is given to them."

The minister added that this required a lot of responsibility from people infected.

Speaking on Friday at the Matlosane Stadium in the North West during the commemoration of the World TB Day, the minister further told the community members gathered at the event that TB was a curable disease.

Due to patients failing to complete their treatment, however, patients get Drug-Resistant TB which is more infectious and potentially lethal.

Communities were encouraged to partner with government in the fight against TB.

"Without you, we in government cannot hope to eliminate TB or ensure that people who contract TB can get early treatment and be cured. Partnership between individuals, families, communities and government will enable us to rid our country of TB."

Minister Hogan acknowledged that government had registered some achievements in the fight against TB, but said much more needs to be done to achieve a cure rate of 85 percent by 2011.

The minister further urged the community to support those living with TB by being kind and respectful.

"We should assist in caring for them if their sickness makes it difficult for them to take care of themselves," she said.

North West Premier Edna Molewa said government would always remain committed to providing services to the people as well as facilities to communities, especially those in rural areas.

While in the province, the minister also visited the newly build TB facility which is attached to the Tshepang Hospital in the Matlosane Local Municipality.

The new facility will specialise in treating TB patients that have acquitted the more lethal form of TB called drug - resistance TB.