'TB leading cause of deaths in Gauteng'

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Tuberculosis accounted for almost 10% of all deaths reported at Gauteng public hospitals in the last three years, but Gautengers had the best access to anteretroviral treatment of all South Africans.

This is according to the Health in Gauteng Report released by the province's health MEC Brian Hlongwa yesterday.

According to the report, those who needed medical treatment from the province's health facilities travelled at most 5km to the nearest facility.

The report will be released annually and will assess the province's successes and failures within the public healthcare system, said Hlongwa.

Pneumonia accounted for 8,1% while heart diseases claimed 4, 4% of all deaths.

The report says the high number of tuberculosis deaths was exacerbated by the prevalence of HIV-Aids, which made those infected vulnerable to the HI virus. The report conceded that many of the deaths attributed to TB could have been Aids related.

The number of people on antiretroviral treatment had increased from 93884 in September last year to 130000 in June.

Hlongwa said the department would open reopening nursing colleges closed earlier.