oa South African Health Review - Tuberculosis in South Africa : chapter 17
Despite sustained progress in control since the formulation of new policy guidelines in 1996, tuberculosis still remains a major public health threat in South Africa. The effects of the rapidly growing concurrent HIV epidemic further compound the prominence of the tuberculosis epidemic and the proportion of TB patients co-infected with HIV is increasing. There is an urgent need to hasten the integrated management of these two epidemics.The promotion of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for HIV in TB treatment centres, provision of materials for advocacy and health education for TB/HIV/AIDS as well as the development of training and management guidelines for dually infected patients will go a long way towards achieving this goal. The introduction of combination anti-TB drugs during 1999 will assist in improving adherence to treatment as well as reduce the occurrence of drug resistant strains of tuberculosis. However, in order to achieve this, there is need to further the progress already made in delivering directly observed supervised treatment to TB patients, particularly within the context of community-based care.Improvement within the computerised recording and reporting system to make it simpler and uniform for all the provinces will further assist in more accurate documentation of the tuberculosis burden in the country and lead to targeted interventions where necessary. The National Tuberculosis Control Programme hopes to achieve its objective of reducing the tuberculosis burden in the country through increased collaboration with other role players at local and regional levels as will be discussed in this report.
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