TB and HIV in Southern Africa

Here’s a final blog from my International ministerial visit to Southern Africa last week:

I ended my trip to southern Africa with a meeting on TB in the region’s mines.

The two are closely linked as HIV dramatically increases susceptibility to TB which helps explain why Africa is the region most affected by TB, and Southern Africa shouldering an incomparably high burden.

And the disease is most prevalent in the mines –it’s estimated that half a million mine workers have the highest TB incidence in the world and three to seven per cent of miners are becoming ill with TB every year.

Rightly, there is a lot of interest from Parliamentarians on this subject back home – from both MPs and Lords.

I want to reassure them – and you – that DFID is committed to support the fight against these two diseases, TB and HIV. With the British  Government’s support, the Stop TB Partnership is active across southern Africa and we’ve been working closely with the Chamber of Mines and other partners to build a more co-ordinated approach to the problem of TB in mine workers, the local mining communities and labour sending areas.

The UK has contributed to the 25% reduction in TB deaths among HIV positive people globally since 2004 and the 28% reduction in Africa over the same period.

We will continue to highlight and support the problem of TB and HIV among the miners in the Southern African region and we now need all those involved in improving miners’ lives to build a stronger regional response through a more harmonised approach and follow-up of people with TB.

2 thoughts on “TB and HIV in Southern Africa

  1. The increasing occurrence of TB among the miners working in mines in South Africa needs intense research inputs to identify the various reasons associated with TB among the miners. If this trend is true for all the miners in other parts of the globe, then efforts must be directed to control the TB cases of miners with latest techniques and medicines of treatment in addition to the adoption of safty measures of mining workers while working in mines to avoid TB.

    Dr.M.M.Krishna Reddy.

  2. Reading the blog from last July about the concern for miners in South Africa who contract TB and/or HIV being so much at risk, I was hoping that DFID, and Lynne Featherstone in person, was going to be attending the ‘Investing in African Mining Indaba’ which takes place 3-6 February where the issue should be raised.

    I trust the commitment to fight felt last year is still as strong. Please can mining companies ensure that both employees and the contract staff who work with them in the mines are treated for TB and HIV, and they work with the communities from where the miners are recruited, inside South Africa and in nearby countries, to ensure that TB, which is treatable and curable, and HIV which can be treated so people can live full lives again is not left to spread and kill.

    I hope the chance to take a strong stand will not be lost next month. Thanks for the concern already shown.

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