Reprioritising TB, HIV, and other NCDs in the mining sector was important because of SA's “special history of respiratory diseases”, particularly pneumoconiosis and TB, he said.
“The industry now faces a unique challenge where there is possible interaction between lung damage caused by Covid-19 and the existing lung diseases in the industry.
“I would also assume that the industry TB, HIV and NCDs programmes have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, similar to other programmes worldwide.”
The minister said his department will study recommendations so it can integrate and align them in a cohesive response to the public health challenges and strive towards the attainment of universal health coverage.
“2020 will go down in history as one of the greatest tests ever endured by humanity,” he said.
“The key message here is that of partnership with government, labour movements, civil society and the community, so that we can conquer the scourge of HIV, TB, non-communicable diseases and Covid-19.”