Western Cape to offer home self-screening for TB

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After a huge decline in the number of people testing for tuberculosis during the lockdown, Western Cape Health authorities are now turning their attention to the killer disease and will soon be offering self-screening at home. The Times quotes Western Cape premier Alan Winde as saying the screening of potential TB patients at home was part of the province’s efforts to find patients instead of waiting for them to present to clinics.

As with COVID-19 screening, TB patients could screen themselves using their mobile phones and filling of questionnaires. An algorithm would then determine their risk and recommend testing, if required.

In June, the Western Cape experienced a dip of about 48% in TB testing, but over the past few months the uptake of testing has been improving. By August the decline was measured at about 36%.

Winde said he would use the provincial council on Aids, which he chaired, to further champion the battle against TB, and supported the Barcelona Declaration's intention of working towards the establishment of a new global parliamentary caucus to press for an urgent response to the TB epidemic.

Full report in The Times

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