Motsoaledi scoops International USAID-TB award
Health Minister Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi has received the USAID-TB international award in recognition of his leadership in the global fight against Tuberculosis (TB) as well as championing bold South Africa's and regional initiatives in the screening, treatment and prevention of TB; TB/HIV co-infection and MDR-TB.
In his acceptance speech, the Minister of Health and the Chair of the Stop TB Partnership, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi challenged all countries to intensify the fight against TB saying, “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."
He lamented that although TB accounts for many deaths in the world, it however, "do not evoke the emotions, passion, urgency and requisite activism that the world has seen in all other epidemics. TB as a disease in the last 200 years killed more people than the major epidemics, Ebola, malaria, HIV itself, small pox, bubonic plaque, influenza and cholera all added together." Motsoaledi said.
TB is killing more than 1.5 million and infecting 9 million people globally. He appealed to all leaders of the world, heads of state and governments, heads of major institutions, religious leaders, activists, academics, major world blocs like the BRICS, EU, G7, G20 and the AU and indeed the UN General Assembly itself to put TB on the agenda like they did with all the major pandemics that have beset the world thus far.
"First and foremost we want them to work together with urgency to find an effective vaccine against TB to ensure that no one contracts TB in the first place. In the meantime we must be able to diagnose TB with a rapid diagnostic test much like we have for HIV. We must have an effective treatment that cures TB and MDR-TB in weeks, rather than months, without the debilitating side effects of current treatments."
He said South Africa will intensify the fight against TB in Lephalale, Limpopo province as part of the World TB Day. The Mass TB screening campaign will dominate this year's World TB Day activities.
Ministry of Health Spokesperson
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