South Africa’s health minister receives international award

22 March 2016

South African Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has received the US Agency for International Development TB International Award for championing the fight against tuberculosis (TB).

The minister received the award at a ceremony on 17 March in Washington DC.

Congratulations to South Africa’s Minister of Health, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi who last night received an award in…

Posted by USAID Southern Africa on Thursday, March 17, 2016

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“It is time for the world to treat tuberculosis with the same urgency it demonstrated in responding to major new health threats like Ebola and the Zika virus,” Motsoaledi said.

Although TB accounted for many deaths, it did not evoke the emotions, passion, urgency and requisite activism that the world had seen in all other epidemics, he added.

“TB as a disease in the last 200 years killed more people than the major epidemics, Ebola, malaria, HIV, small pox, bubonic plaque, influenza and cholera all added together. TB is killing more than 1.5 million and infecting 9 million people globally.”

The minister acknowledged the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria for its continued support to provide almost 80% of all international funding for TB.

“Adequate financing for TB is more important than ever, especially because of drug resistant TB. Thanks to the work of the UK Review on Anti-Microbial Resistance, G7 Heads of State issued a special declaration recognising that drug-resistance to TB and other infections can reverse decades of progress at the cost of millions of lives and trillions of dollars,” Motsoaledi said.

World TB Day

South Africa is commemorating World TB Day with an event on 24 March 2016 in the Lephalale Local Municipality in Waterberg District, in Limpopo.

A mass TB screening campaign will dominate this year’s World TB Day activities.

TB is still a highly contagious bacterial disease spread by coughing and sneezing. “In 2011, more than 1.4 million people died of TB,” reads the USAid website. “It’s the second-leading cause of death from infectious disease worldwide.”

Source: South African Government News Agency