Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the top killers worldwide, ranking above HIV/AIDS. South Africa is one of the 14 countries with the highest burdens of tuberculosis (TB), TB / HIV, and multidrug-resistant TB.
The USAID-funded, URC-implemented Tuberculosis South Africa Project partners with the Government of South Africa to reduce the burden of TB and multi-drug-resistant TB. The project aims to reduce TB infections, increase the sustainability of effective TB response systems, and improve the care and treatment of vulnerable populations.
Read the stories of South Africans who have had TB and are now advocates in the fight against the disease.
From TB Survivor to TB Ambassador
As a survivor of TB, Mrs. Commonwealth South Africa Finalist 2017, Lolo Kekana uses her public image to advocate for TB and other health issues. During radio interviews she encourages listeners to test regularly for high blood pressure, diabetes, TB, HIV and other diseases. She never fails to highlight the importance of early detection for immediate access to treatment and that prevention is better than cure.
Spreading TB Awareness through Art
Damian Tredoux, a graffiti artist was invited to create an art mural. “Something close to your heart,” is what his business partner told him when they were invited to join a TB awareness campaign. For Tredoux, a TB survivor, this mural was indeed personal. The mural narrates his battle with TB, emphasizing the importance of creating awareness. He says “we have to be cautious with our health, be aware and raise awareness in others. I mean, I barely knew anything about TB before it was too late.”
Running for TB Awareness
The stories of Nathalie Joy, Sobongile Mashiyi, and Neal Stacey among others, teach us that not only can one beat TB, but that grit has translated to something greater. “Misdiagnosis by doctors, incorrect treatment, stigma, and the side-effects of medicines has psychological effects and can potentially destroy lives,” says Stacey. These survivors are taking their running shoes and dedicating their races to the fight against TB.