SAfAIDS Statement on World TB Day 2017
TB, is the world’s top infectious disease killer, claiming 5 000 lives each day. The heaviest burden is carried by communities already facing socio-economic challenges such as migrants, refugees, prisoners, ethnic minorities, miners and others working and living in risk-prone settings, and marginalized women, children and older people (WHO: 2017).
The commemorations this year continue with the theme United to end TB, with countries the world over committing to implement the End TB Strategy to ensure ending TB becomes a reality. SAfAIDS therefore joins the world in commemorating World TB Day today, with our continued call for every one of us to play our role in ending TB. This can only be achieved if we as stakeholders step up our efforts to accelerate our fight against TB.
As an organisation, our mandate includes ensuring that all people in Africa are free from the burden of TB. SAfAIDS therefore continues to commit to re-invigorate our awareness raising efforts in Africa so that people understand and appreciate the availability of TB detection and treatment services, hence there is no need for us to experience such high numbers of TB related deaths in our continent. Seeking services early is a priority if not a must. As an information organization, we continue to work towards ending TB in Southern Africa through advocacy, community and social mobilisation. For us, this means taking a whole-of-society and multidisciplinary approach, in the context of universal health coverage. That way, we will all be showing our unity towards ending TB.
The burden of HIV and TB co-infection is recognized the world over as TB if left untreated, can reverse HIV treatment gains. SAfAIDS therefore continues to intensify its efforts to ensure that HIV and TB co-infection is eradicated as the world gears up to end AIDS by 2030. We are in full support of the new TB ethics guidelines, launched by the World Health Organization (WHO), as they aim to help ensure that countries implementing the End TB Strategy adhere to sound ethical standards to protect the rights of all those affected. These include the right to access TB services without experiencing any challenges. It is therefore prudent for our governments to ensure that TB services are prioritized. No one deserves to die of TB.
Our call continues to be for us all to Unite in Ending TB.
Knowledge for action: The power to make a difference!