Durban - Tuberculosis (TB) despite it being treatable disease is the world's biggest infectious killer, claiming the lives of an estimated 1.6 million people around the world every year including 78 000 South Africans.
Now, a ground breaking study conducted by scientist from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation & Sequencing Platform (KRISP) and the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) has given new hope to policy makers on the front-line of fighting the disease that proves that scaling up antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage can reduce the cases of TB.
The study which is also the first to indicate space-time clusters of recently-diagnosed TB. The findings were published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature’s Scientific Reports.
According to UKZN the study provides key information to guide policy makers on the scale up of ART in HIV hyperendemic sub-Saharan African communities which will aid in the control of the TB epidemic.
Dr Andrew Tomita, lead author of the study titled, Space-time clustering of recently diagnosed Tuberculosis and impact of ART scale-up: Evidence from an HIV hyper-endemic rural South African population; said “In this paper, we use data from one of the world’s largest longitudinal population health surveillance systems to characterise the spatial distribution of TB in a high HIV prevalence rural South African community and quantify the impact of community ART coverage scale up on recently-diagnosed TB disease.