R14m to fight scourge of TB

MPUMALANGA has budgeted R14million to support community-based management of multi-drug resistant TB patients.

Health and social development MEC Dikeledi Mahlangu said the province has 486 MDR TB patients, "but only 66 of them are hospitalised in a special hospital in eMalahleni".

Mahlangu said her department has already started to build a 40-bed MDR unit at Bongani TB Hospital in eHlanzeni. She said the building would be completed in December.

"We must work hard to remove the stigma associated with TB so that all people can present themselves early at our health facilities for more effective treatment," she said.

Mahlangu said her department has made considerable progress in improving the TB cure rate from 60percent to 63,4percent.

"We want to move our cure rate to 68percent and reduce our defaulter rate from 8percent to 7percent in this financial year," she said.

Mahlangu said they plan to also focus on malaria case management and awareness to ensure that deaths from these disease are brought down.

"We have also done extensive work in this area, especially in preparation for the World Cup," she said.