TO: ALL MEDIA
DATE: 22 MARCH 2012
EMBARGO: IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media invite: World TB day to focus on mines and childrenThe KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Health will lead the commemoration of the 2012 World
TB Day with a focus on the impact of this preventable disease on the mining
Journalists are invited to World TB Day event to be held on Tuesday 27 March
2012 at oKhukhu Mine in the Zululand District at 09h00.
About 600,000 mine & contract workers have contracted TB and the incidence of TB
in the mining community is estimated to be 3,000–7,000 cases per 100,000
population with more than 60% having the TB/HIV co-infected and some with
silicosis. In 2010/11, about 11% of S.A. gold mining sector’s miners estimated
to be infected with TB compared to an industry average of 5%. Also, 0.72% miners
were infected with silicosis compared to an industry average of 0.31% and yet,
gold mines have limited TB & HIV services (only 56% of gold mines have TB & HIV
services compared to 78% of platinum mines).
This World TB Day will also begin to highlight the impact of this disease on
children under 15 years. All too often TB goes undiagnosed in children. Young
children generally are unable to produce a sample. Even if a child with active
TB succeeds in providing a sample, it often contains no detectable bacteria.
Compounding difficulties with diagnosis is the fact that children with TB have
families that are poor, lack knowledge about the disease and live in communities
with limited access to health care.
Speaking ahead of the commemoration, MEC Dhlomo reiterated Minister Motsoaledi;
“’If TB and HIV are a snake in Southern Africa, the head of the snake is here in
South Africa. People come from all over the Southern African Development
Community to work in our mines and export TB and HIV, along with their earnings.
If we want to kill a snake, we need to hit it on its head’. The challenge of
diagnosing childhood TB has created a cycle of neglect, where insufficient
awareness of the magnitude of the problem engenders a lack of public attention
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: KWAZULU-NATAL
083 447 2869
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