Deputy President David Mabuza with Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi on his left, dances with the choir at the official opening of the 5th South African TB Conference yesterday at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. Picture: GCIS
Durban - Deputy president David Mabuza has called for a programme of action to tackle tuberculosis, the leading cause of death in South Africa.

Speaking at the 5th South African TB Conference at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Conference Centre in Durban on Tuesday, Mabuza said the conference was important as it could provide concrete proposals on finding those we are missing in the health system, but who carry TB, so they can immediately be put on treatment and cured.

“It is also a platform that offers us an opportunity to share experiences on what needs to be done to strengthen our health and social systems.

“We must explore the best ways of mobilising the human and financial resources to improve health outcomes in informal settlements, in rural villages and in those that are most vulnerable to acquiring TB in our country.”

Mabuza said the theme of the conference “Step Up! Let’s embrace all to end TB” was apt as it talked to the country’s aspirations to work towards ending TB by 2030, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“Each sector in our country must step up and do what is needed to end TB. We will not be able to dig ourselves out of the current TB epidemic only with the ‘pill’, without addressing developmental and underlying social and structural drivers of this disease,” he said.

The Mercury