The Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa and the Chair of SANAC, Cyril Ramaphosa together with the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, will on Tuesday 22 March, commemorate World TB Day 2016 in Lephalale Local Municipality in the Waterberg district, Limpopo.

Lephalale is currently one of the fastest growing towns in South Africa, following the discovery of huge coal deposits that are currently being mined. With a coalfield estimated to contain between 40% and 50% of South Africa’s coal reserves, the area is expected to experience unprecedented levels of urbanization. Already, there is evidence that TB infections, contrary to the general decline seen nationally and in all provinces, are on the increase in Lephalale.

South Africa, with the sixth highest TB prevalence in the world (first, when adjusted for population size), is one of the 22 high burden countries that contribute approximately 80% of the total global burden of all TB cases.

The control and management of TB is therefore a governmental priority, especially in view of the national goal of having zero infections, deaths, stigma and discrimination from TB and HIV by 2032, as espoused in the National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB and STIs.

The Mass TB Screening campaign will again be used as a platform for the commemoration of World TB day in 2016, following on from Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa`s 2015 launch of a Massive TB Screening campaign.

The Commemoration will be part of a wider effort aimed at achieving goals and objectives set by the National TB programme (NTP) to mobilise communities and encourage them to adopt practices that minimise the risk of TB infection.