The IFP in KwaZulu-Natal is asking residents to familiarise themselves with signs and symptoms of tuberculosis (TB), as we commemorate World Tuberculosis (TB) Day.
"Efforts need to be intensified to improve the cure rate for tuberculosis in the province. TB is a deadly disease and if one does not take the medication as prescribed it can lead to even more serious strains of the virus, such as Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) TB and Extreme Drug-Resistant (XDR) TB, that can result in death," said IFP Spokesperson on Health, Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana,MPL.
"Anyone who has been coughing for more than two weeks, has a fever and sweating at night, loss of appetite and weight, tiredness, a general feeling of illness, shortness of breath, chest pains and sometimes blood stained sputum, must visit any health facility for proper and early diagnosis. Most community members come to clinics when they are already too sick, after having been exposed unknowingly to the disease. Of serious concern is the high drop-out rate amongst those who are on treatment. They must complete the full course of treatment if they wish to be fully cured," continued Mrs Nkwanyana.
"Drugs alone will not win us the war we are faced with. We have to re-consider the tactics that we have employed in the past in the fight against TB. A range of initiatives, including education and awareness and ensuring that health services function optimally, is needed for this to change. We can't do it without a concerted effort from all quarters, from government and academics to healthcare workers, employers and people in the community," concluded Mrs Nkwanyana.
The IFP calls on employers to allow employees to go to the clinic to be tested for TB - no one should lose their job if they are on TB treatment. In addition, government must do more in fighting TB in the mining sector.
Mrs Ncamisile Nkwanyana MPL,
IFP Spokesperson on Health, 078 302 3991
For Media Enquiries:
IFP KZN Provincial Legislature Media Liaison Officer,
Mr Phendulani Biyase, 073 024 5675