TB programmes in South Africa must become more transparent

22 March 2023

Today the consortium launched the second State of TB report titled Tackling governance gaps to improve careAs part of the report, the focus is on strengthening the governance of TB programmes and community-led governance at the grassroots level.

The report launch takes place two days before March 24 when the globe marks World TB Day under the theme Yes! We can end TB!

Based on the World Health Organization’s most recent country statistics, 304 000 people contracted TB, but only 174 000 were diagnosed with the disease representing a mere 57 %. This is well short of the target of 95% representing a gap of 144 000 people. Of those initiated into treatment only 78% successfully completed their treatment. Sadly, over 55 000 people are estimated to have died from TB. Despite  being both preventable and treatable, TB remains the leading cause of death from a single infectious disease.

In response to this crisis, the National Department of Health, supported by the National TB Think Tank, and prompted by civil society, has released a TB recovery plan. It aims to reverse the losses incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns. To continue to accelerate efforts towards attaining the NSP, UNHLM, SDG and End TB targets.

In our annual State of TB in South Africa report for 2022, TBAC looked at what was needed to regain momentum in the national fight against TB. The consensus was that we needed to recalibrate and decide what the focus areas should be. 

Our 2023 edition of the State of TB Report takes a more in-depth look at the governance of TB programmes in South Africa. It focuses on what is needed to bring about coherence in the implementation of TB programmes. The World Health Organisation defines governance as the need to ensure strategic policy frameworks exist and are combined with effective oversight, coalition-building, regulation, attention to system-design and accountability. 

With focus on the TB recovery plan, the report reflects on South Africa’s progress in implementing the plan. It identifies areas where we have made progress and would benefit from increased focus. In order to achieve bidirectional decision-making, the initiative stresses accountability, data accessibility, and community-led governance. 

Informed by the insights of civil society leaders, the report aims to mobilise the TB community of researchers and policy makers. It supports the call for community involvement in the governance of health care at all levels of the health system as a key lever to seeing a #WorldfreeTB.

Join the launch of the report this morning from 09h00, here.

For media queries or interviews please contact:

Phemelo Khaas     +27 83 763 3472                            Phemelo.Khaas@rhap.org.za   

The TB Accountability Consortium is a coalition which aims to strengthen TB care in SA by consolidating the implementation of TB policies, technical solutions and advocacy efforts on a national and provincial level  to ultimately improve care. TBAC is an initiative of Rural Health Advocacy Project.