TB South Africa Project


South Africa TB News

World TB News

USAID TB Program Launch of the Global Plan to STOP TB 2011-2015

Pholosho Primary School Alexandra township in Johannesburg was chosen as the venue for the launch of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Plan to STOP TB 2011 – 2015.

The half a decade plan is a comprehensive assessment of the action and resources needed to implement the Stop TB strategy and make an impact on the global TB burden and can be downloaded at:

The day kicked off with a press conference attended by National TB Control Programme and delegates from the 19th STOP TB Coordinating Body who hosted their annual meeting in Johannesburg.

Thereafter they joined the 2000 pupils from the school in a KICK TB campaign on the school sports ground. Pupils were shown an educational DVD specifically developed for children and answered questions relating to the content. The excitement peaked when the children competed against the adults in a penalty shoot out competition with the KICK TB soccer ball which is branded with messages about TB.

Ms Cathy Moore, Deputy Mission Director at USAID further explained “Our aim is for you to learn about the dangers of TB and HIV while you are still young so that you can grow up to be a TB free generation. Let’s Kick TB, together let’s beat TB”.

Mario Raviglione, Director, Stop TB Department gets ready to kick TB.
Looking on are: Cathy Moore Deputy Mission Director at USAID, TB Ambassador Gerry Elsdon and Garvon Molefe from NDOH.

South Africa has Highest TB Burden on the Planet

South Africa has a population of 49 million and is currently estimated that to have a TB incident rate of about 900 to 1000 per 100 000. This exceeds the incidents in the other four countries in the World Health Organisation’s list of high burden countries.  This means that in reality the country is carrying the highest burden of Tuberculosis on the planet. Activities such as the KICK TB school outreach programme promotes all members of the community to take part in the fight against TB and consolidates the efforts of different partners working in the field to ensure that mortality from TB is reduced.

The KICK TB campaign continues to North West province from 25th to 29th October then heads to Mpumalanga from 22nd to 26th November.

Private Public Mix Seminar
27-29 August 2010 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal

PPM Seminar Agenda
  • URC supports the National and Provincial Departments of Health with the implementation of the TB DOTS Strategy, TB/ HIV collaboration and the expansion of PPM activities in all nine provinces.
  • The National Department of Health in partnership with USAID and University Research Co (URC) LLC through the USAID TB Project are undertaking to convene the Provincial PPM Seminar that will bring together various directorates in the National Department of Health involved in the TB, HIV Programmes as well as a representative from the World Health Organization, National Health Insurance and Private Medical in Kwazulu-Natal involved in the delivery of care of TB and HIV patients.
  • The seminar will aim to review challenges and advances made in PPM for TB at service delivery level.
  • Lessons on good practices in PPM models from the African region and other provinces in South Africa will be shared. The seminar will discuss opportunities and challenged for scaling up PPM DOTS amongst private practitioners.
  • Invitations to attend the meeting have been extended to individuals from the National Department of Health (TB and HIV components), all Provincial TB managers from the other provinces, KZN provincial / district TB coordinators, Independent Practitioners Associations (KZN mainly, but some from the Eastern Cape), USAID, CDC, US Embassy and Tertiary institutions.
  • A series of break away sessions will be held where pertinent issues in TB services in Public and Private Sector will be discussed and debated. This will be followed by a feedback session highlighting key issues raised.
  • The purpose of the workshop is to develop and pilot a model for PPM for Private Practitioners in KwaZulu-Natal.

There will be three exhibitors from Pharmaceutical companies on the 28th and 29th August:

  • Aspen
  • Aventis
  • Council of Medical Schemes
  • USAID TB Project

We have also organized a Press Conference for the 28th August midday involving the National Department of Health, MEC for Health, USAID, USAID TB Project and the NTCP.

Participants will receive conference bags with the following material:

  • PPM one page introductory document (see above sample)
  • NTCP Guidelines
  • ART Adult and Paediatric Guidelines

Intensive training offered through partnership with South Africa

The Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union)’s three-week intensive course in tuberculosis control was offered in South Africa for the first time this summer [2010] as part of a three-year contract with the University Research Corporation (URC) to provide technical assistance and training in tuberculosis, MDR-TB, TB-HIV and management. A series of courses covering all four areas will be offered this year.

The International Tuberculosis Course offered this summer is The Union’s “flagship” TB course. Its three-week curriculum gives participants a sound knowledge of the basic basis and principles of TB control, covering the bacteriological basis of TB control, the clinical presentation and diagnosis of TB, the epidemiological basis of TB control, interventions for TB control and elimination and the elements of DOTS expansion.

In South Africa, the first two weeks were taught by Prof Hans L Rieder, who also teaches the course in Tanzania and Viet Nam. The third week was facilitated by Dr Refiloe Matji, former South Africa National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) manager, who is now the URC regional director in southern Africa. The third week also included site visits to local TB clinics to observe and assess how well the theoretical underpinnings studied during the first two weeks are put into practice.

There were 25 participants including staff from URC, the NTP and the Departments of Health in the provinces of Gauteng, Free State, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape.

University Research Co., LLC is based in Washington, DC with a regional office in South Africa serving southern Africa. The regional office supports the South African National Department of Health in a health care quality improvement project, which includes work in tuberculosis. Funding for the partnership with The Union comes from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Ref: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union) announcement.

National Department of Health (NDoH) Supports Soccer Balls for
Health Awareness Events around the World Cup in the Western Cape

 By Sara Chitambo; additional reporting by Ramona Baijnath(NDoH)

Most people know about the lost city of Atlantis but here in South Africa, in the Western Cape province, we have our own version which is referred to by its inhabitants as the “forgotten city of Atlantis.”

This western district town roughly 50 km north of Cape Town, has approximately 210,000 residents. High levels of poverty and unemployment, estimated at around 50%, plague this town, has resulted in drug and alcohol abuse, gangsterism and  general sense of fatalism amongst the youth.

Though the world cup was in full swing by mid June, the community had not yet had any activities to partake in to celebrate the event.  With no official FIFA viewing site in the area, the community was treated to soccer themed health and wellness activities at the  by Johns Hopkins Health and Education in South Africa and other partners

The scrutinize campaigns typically take place on university campuses but for the duration of the 2010 World Cup, the campaign targeted fan parks where large numbers of youth gathered to watch their favourite soccer stars in actions.  The three cities selected were Durban, Cape Town and Bloemfontein.

The activities used the KICK TB campaign soccer ball  which is partly funded by the USAID TB project to educate the community how to identify signs and symptoms of TB in an informal and fun manner.
  • 50 were donated to the Sports and Recreation Department in Atlantis for use in their holiday programme for in-school youths.
  • They were used during 5-a-side soccer tournaments.
  • The soccer balls were used in a TB quiz, whereby, people were given 1 minute to read through the soccer ball and then answer questions relating to the information on the ball.
  • They were used as prizes during Scrutinize and Brothers for Life activations in the community.

Popular comedian and Scrutinize ambassador Joey Rasdien  and Andile Ncube from SABC1 served as programme directors for the activities which included mini soccer, outdoor and indoor games, circle games and discussions about TB, HIV, teenage pregnancy amongst many others.

Annual Program Statement (APS)-Call for Applications
USAID Tuberculosis Program South Africa

Release Date: June 30, 2010
Proposals due: July 28, 2010, 16:00 Pretoria time

University Research Co., LLC (URC) currently implements a contract awarded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide technical assistance to the National TB Control Program (NTCP) in South Africa. The small grants program is an important element of the USAID TB PROGRAM SOUTH AFRICA designed to help increase the demand and availability of TB and TB/HIV services.

A Request for Applications (RFAs) to support the program has been issued to formally compete small grants and select grantees to implement interventions that strengthen DOTS including TB case detection, active case finding, follow up of TB cases, prevention and treatment of MDR TB, integration/expansion of TB into HIV services (implementation of 3Is), public-private mix (PPM) DOTS, improving access and quality of laboratory services and social mobilization in South Africa. URC assists the grantee organizations to develop and implement interventions to improve treatment adherence, continuum of care for TB patients and TB/HIV co-infected people. A major focus of this round of grants will be to develop and implement community-based strategies for treatment of MDR TB patients. However, URC will also accept proposals for expansion of universal TB case detection, TB treatment and support, diagnosis and treatment of TB among children, and TB-HIV integrated activities. The applications should link community-based strategies with the Department of Health (DOH) TB and MDR TB interventions.

Note: Applicants who are currently involved in health programs in the following districts/sub districts will receive priority in funding: KZN - Zululand, uThukela, UMgungundlovu, UGu, UMkhanyakude; NC – Siyanda; NW – Mafikeng, Matlosana; FS – Thabo Mofutsanyane, Fezile Dabi; EC – Nelson Mandela Metro; Mpumalanga – Nkangala, Gert Sibande. Applicants will also have to demonstrate their capacity in working with DOH/NTCP in achieving proposed program objectives. The proposals should focus on specific geographic areas (sub-district/district) that are critical to develop continuum of care for TB and MDR TB patients. URC will also accept proposals which will initiate TB infection control measures in health care facilities, in the community and in the homes of MDR TB patients. Offerors should prepare and submit their applications to URC-Pretoria office. URC will convene a Grants Selection Committee to evaluate and score the proposals on the basis of criteria that are stated in Section VIII of this RFA. Negotiations will be conducted with organizations that have acceptable technical and cost applications. Award of the grant will be made to the most advantageous offerer(s) considering technical and price elements.

NGOs that are currently receiving funding through the PEPFAR program for TB/HIV activities will not be eligible to receive funds through the URC mechanism.

The detailed Annual Program Statement document along with tender instructions is available on this web site (the USAID TB Program South Africa webportal). To download, CLICK HERE.

Applicants should email their proposals to Ms. Khensani Kubayi at KhensaniK@urc-sa.com and direct their questions to Dr. Ntombi Mhlongo Sigwebela, Email: NtombiM@urc-sa.com, Tel: +27(0) 12 342 1419 at the URC Pretoria office: 333 Grosvenor Street, Hatfield, PO Box 12058 Hatfield, Pretoria, 0028.

National Department of Health (NDoH) Minister Supports
School Programme to KICK TB Out of Communities

 By Sara Chitambo; additional reporting by Ramona Baijnath(NDoH)

Straight off a plane from Brazil, South African National Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi made time to attend the Kick TB campaign activation at Greenbury Primary School in Durban on the 2nd of June en route to the Second National TB conference.

Dr. Motsoaledi congratulated the children on taking ownership of the campaign and encouraged them to be change agents in their communities. Each school child pledged to be a TB ambassador and to tell five different people weekly about TB.

The Minister's involvement and support has not gone unappreciated. Echoing the sentiments of Dr Nono Simelela CEO of SANAC in her opening address at the start of the conference, the Chief Director of the National TB Cluster Mr David Mametja said “We have the rare opportunity to experience political leadership with a conscience and we must make the most of it”.

The school activations are a partnership between the National Department of Health, CDC, Desmond Tutu TB Centre and the USAID TB Project.

The Kick TB Campaign was launched on World TB Day with the first school activations taking place on May 26th in KwaZulu Natal to coincide with the National TB Conference. The school rollouts seek to combat TB as well as the stigma associated with it, by fusing sport, particularly soccer, and social mobilization to create a platform through which TB appropriate messages will be effectively conveyed. Linking the Kick TB campaign to the FIFA World Cup 2010 provides a perfect vehicle for conveying positive messages that would reach a maximal audience using popular sport.

The campaign seeks to roll out to 300 health promoting schools across South Africa. The campaign’s principal target will be primary school learners between the ages of 5 and 13 years. Approximately 115,000, learners drawn from diverse schools and backgrounds (gender, race, language, socio-economic status, disability status and geographic location (rural/urban), will be drawn to participate directly in the campaign. Special attention will be given to schools in the 18 priority districts identified by the Department of Health for accelerated interventions and TB hotspots (e.g.schools in mining areas and those in close proximity to hostels).

Messages of KICK TB Campaign

  • Encourage community members to know their status and get tested
  • TB can be cured
  • Be aware of TB symptoms
  • Open the windows and let fresh air to circulate
  • Wash your hands often with water and soap
  • Protect other people from getting infected by covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Taking medication daily and completing treatment
  • Co-infections with HIV and how TB can be cured regardless of HIV infections
  • Know the symptoms and go to the nearest clinic
  • Complete your treatment

Objectives and Anticipated Outcomes

The Kick TB 2010 campaign will significantly contribute to the vision that drives South Africa’s TB control and management programme, namely, a South Africa that is free of TB and the stigma that surrounds the disease. Specifically, the campaign will:

  • Increase awareness and knowledge of TB;
  • Dispel common myths and misconceptions that currently contribute to stigmatization of TB; and
  • Promote behavioural change required to prevent TB infection.

The key outcomes expected of this campaign are people adopting safer infection control practices, getting tested for TB and community empowerment through knowledge and understanding of TB.

     We Kick TB, We Beat TB, We Kick TB, We Beat TB, Because every breath counts!

South Africa: Response Fails Children

DURBAN, 2 June 2010 (IRIN/PlusNews) - The fight against tuberculosis (TB) has failed children: the share of paediatric TB is increasing, and children have not escaped the rising tide of drug-resistant strains, according to new research presented at the South African TB Conference.
  Photo: Kristy Siegfried/PlusNews
  Children account for 11 percent of the
  world's estimated nine million TB cases

Dr Ntombi Mhlongo-Sigwebela, TB programme director at the University Research Company, a public health consultancy, told the conference in the port city of Durban that TB in children under four years of age now accounted for about nine percent of all national TB cases annually.

Dr Kalpesh Rahevar, a World Health Organization (WHO) medical officer, said inconclusive conventional TB skin tests (to determine whether a patient has a latent TB infection) and the inability to get sputum samples from young children made paediatric TB more difficult to diagnose and treat than in adults.

"This highlights the challenge of diagnosing children, especially at the primary care level ... there are differing abilities to accurately diagnose TB; where there is a paediatrician who takes an interest in TB, you see a higher number of cases diagnosed," Mhlongo-Sigwebela told IRIN/PlusNews.

To make things worse, paediatric drug formulations and international treatment guidance for children were also inadequate, said Dr Ben Marais of University of Stellenbosch, in Western Cape Province.

"The WHO only produced guidelines this year on optimal isoniazid [a drug used to treat TB] dosing for children," he told IRIN/PlusNews. "I think this speaks to how poorly we've served children ... [it has been] more than 60 years since the discovery of the drugs [and only now do] we have an optimal [paediatric] dosing."

WHO has listed South Africa's TB epidemic among the world's worst, and research has indicated that about 70 percent of adult TB patients are co-infected with HIV.

Marais said the key to preventing paediatric TB infections was halting adult TB, improving infection control, and access to isoniazid preventive TB therapy.

2nd South Africa TB
Conference Was Held
1 through 4 June 2010

The 2nd South Africa Tuberculosis Conference 2010 focused on:

  • Creating an all inclusive opportunity for people to attend and participate in this national event dedicated to the fight against Tuberculosis
  • Building skills and knowledge
  • Networking and sharing of experiences
  • Increasing community participation
  • Raising the level of media awareness and helping to create a programme for the media
  • Helping to further build the South African TB programme by identifying challenges
  • Sharing best practices
  • Sharing the latest research and findings

The Conference was held at the International Convention Centre in Durban. This venue is ranked the leading conference centre in Africa. The City of Durban, destination for the South African TB Conference participant, offers world class service, allows you to ease effortlessly from business to pleasure, and is renowned for having staged some of the world’s most prestigious conferences. The Conference was attended by 2500 participants of whom many were from international destinations.

The Conference participants included:

  • Scientists researching TB
  • Medical Professionals
  • Officials from National, Provincial and Local Government departments
  • Representatives from NGO’s
  • Industry Specialists
  • Representatives of international organizations
  • Representatives of local and multinational corporations
  • Media representatives
  • Representatives of faith-based organizations
  • Representatives from the Private Sector

Directions to URC Project Headquarters, 466 Rigel Avenue South, Rigel Park Block B, Erasmusrand, Pretoria, 0181 South Africa • Tel. +27-12-484-9300
NDOH logo

This website is implemented by University Research Co., LLC, , in collaboration with BEA Enterprises, Inc. This web portal was produced with support provided by USAID through the South Africa Tuberculosis Program managed by University Research Co., LLC.

Page updated 01 December 2010