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TB death rate still unacceptably high – Minister

TB remained a pressing concern for South Africa, with an estimated 300 000 South Africans getting the disease every year, Deputy Health Minister Sibongiseni Dhlomo said.

Dhlomo was delivering the keynote address this week at the four-day Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) TB Research Network Innovation Summit in Durban. The network was established in 2017 by the Health Ministries in Brics countries, in response to the burden of TB, which accounted for 40% of cases worldwide, reports News24.

“Last year alone, we managed to notify and put 224 000 people on a treatment regime, and although our infection incidence is declining, we are concerned about the unacceptable death rate among our patients.”

He said a major driver of the TB infection was HIV, because 48% of the TB patients in 2022 were people living with HIV.

Trial site for collaboration

Meanwhile, in the Western Cape, UNITE4TB, the largest public-private collaboration in TB drug development, launched its phase 2B/C clinical trial programme, with the first participant enrolled at its trial site in Cape Town.

Professor Andreas Diacon, chairperson and CEO of TASK Europe, said the sites were chosen based on TB prevalence.

TASK is a multinational, multi-site clinical research institute which aims to improve global health through testing and progressing novelty medicines, vaccines and diagnostics in various therapeutic areas.

“TASK conducts all stages of clinical trials, from first-in-human trials all the way through to licensing. We are thrilled to kick off the UNITE4TB clinical trial programme in Cape Town and proud to be part of this important clinical research project,” said Diacon.


News24 article – High death rate among TB patients of major concern to health department (Restricted access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


TB diagnoses reached record high last year – WHO report


High TB death rate, a worry – Phaahla


A century of research for TB breakthrough






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