SA gets its ducks in a row ahead of international TB meeting

Friday, September 7, 2018

South Africa has held a meeting to consolidate its position on ending tuberculosis (TB) in the build up to a gathering of global leaders in New York later this month.

The special consultative plenary meeting of the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) was held at the Union Buildings in Tshwane on Friday, the Presidency said.

The meeting, which was convened by Deputy President David Mabuza as the chairperson of SANAC, discussed South Africa’s participation and common position to the upcoming first United Nations high-level meeting on tuberculosis.

The meeting, which will be attended by Heads of State and Government and representatives of States and government, will take place at the United Nations headquarters in New York on 26 September.

At today’s meeting, Mabuza reaffirmed South Africa’s commitment, along with global countries and partners, to end the tuberculosis epidemic globally by 2030, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

“In order to defeat the scourge of TB, it is of paramount importance that we provide leadership and work together to accelerate our national and global collective actions, investments, research and innovations urgently to fight this preventable and treatable disease of tuberculosis,” said Mabuza.

Stats SA reported that in 2015, there were 460 000 recorded deaths from various causes. Of these, TB contributed 33 000, followed by diabetes, which contributed 25 000.

TB remains the leading infectious disease killer of South Africans, with research showing that 60% of people with HIV also have TB, and people with diabetes are three times more likely to have TB.

The Deputy President said post the UN high-level meeting, it is crucial that South Africa immediately develops its own implementation plan that will take the meeting’s resolutions forward.

SANAC is the body charged with coordinating South Africa’s response to the HIV/Aids epidemic, bringing together stakeholders from government, the private sector, non-governmental organisations, civil society, activists, health workers as well as religious and community leaders. –