TB Accountability Consortium

TB Accountability Consortium

Take political action, TB advocates urge Health Minister at TB Conference

South Africa’s TB advocacy organisations have once again called on the country’s health minister to take political action against TB. 

In an advocacy letter addressed to Minister Joe Phaahla and director general Sandile Buthelezi, the organisations  asked the officials to take political action to implement TB policies outlined in the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV, TB & STIs 

It was presented to the Ministry at the end of the SA TB Conference in Durban. The letter was read out by TB Proof while representatives from organisations such as  TBAC, the Treatment Action Campaign, TB HIV Care, Sho Me Your Numba stood  at the front of the hall and held up placards.

Buthelezi and Ramphelane Morewane, the Acting Health Deputy Director General accepted the letter. 

The letter applauded Phaahla’s administration for  driving the NHI to be adopted but says that if the fight against TB to make South Africa a TB Free Society is not realised, their  efforts will be forgotten. 

“TB, as is the case at the moment, remains a public health threat that kills more than 50,000 people in South Africa annually. Yet TB is curable disease. #Sikhathele to be preaching the same things to you Minister and your officials and nothing is being done to demonstrate action that recognizes that we have an emergency in our hands.

“As TB advocates and champions, we know that more is needed than improved TB programme outcomes, because there are organisational and institutional barriers to health equity at a macro level. TB is not only the responsibility of the health department, it is in the realm of those who have the political decision-making power,” the letter states.

The letter was signed off by more than 50 TB organisations. 

Read the full letter here.