SA prison gets ‘lab in a box’

Comment on this story
IOL nov 14 prison tb done INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Prisoners attend the launch of the GeneXpert MTB/RIF at the Helderstroom Medium Prison in Caledon. Picture: Tracey Adams

Cape Town - A Caledon prison has unveiled a new testing apparatus aimed at curbing the spread of tuberculosis among inmates.

The GeneXpert MTB/RIF “lab in a box” was launched at the Helderstroom Medium Prison on Tuesday.

It can detect TB and multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) accurately two hours after testing sputum.

The prison is the first Western Cape correctional institution to own such machine. It costs R150 000 and was funded by the Hermanus SA National Tuberculosis Association (Santa).

Prison health manager Suzette van Aarde said since the prison started using it in July it had tested 53 inmates, of whom six tested positive for TB.

“It has helped us a lot as we receive the results within hours and can start treatment immediately,” she said.

Before the machine arrived, a TB diagnosis took about six weeks. New inmates at the prison will now be screened on entry. - Cape Argus

Hungry for more scitech news? Sign up for our daily newsletter

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines