USAID Tuberculosis South Africa Project to Host Durban TB Walk 2016 on Friday 15 July in Durban Central

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 14, 2016
Tebogo Sepeng, DOC Specialist − USAID Southern Africa
+ 27 12 452 2363

The USAID Tuberculosis South Africa Project (TBSAP) − collaboratively implemented with the South Africa National Department of Health − will host the Durban TB Fun Walk on July 15th 2016 in Durban Central. The walk will highlight the seriousness of the TB burden in South Africa, as well as notable interventions in place to respond to the epidemic. The event takes place the day before the start of the two-day International TB Conference (TB2016), which commences on 16 July at the Inkosi Albert Lithuli International Convention Centre (Durban ICC).

South Africa has the third highest burden of TB in the world (after India and China), with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting an estimated incidence of 450,000 cases of active TB in 2013. About 1% of the population develops active TB disease each year. Discouragingly, the incidence of TB in the country has increased by 400% over the past 15 years. Of the 450,000 incident cases recorded, the WHO estimates that about 270,000 (60%) of these people have both HIV and TB infection.

Friday July 15th , 2016 will see the community of Durban coming together for a cause close to communities’ hearts. The two-kilometer walk will start at 07:00 am at Botha’s Park, opposite the Durban University of Technology on Berea Road, and end at Gugu Dlamini Park, near the Workshop Shopping Centre in Central Durban.

South African TB ambassadors and TB survivors will also participate in the walk.

In recognition of the need for greater attention to the global TB epidemic, the International AIDS Society (IAS) will host TB2016, a conference dedicated exclusively to this infectious disease on 16 and 17 July. This gathering incorporates the biannual South Africa TB Conference. TB2016 will be followed by the International AIDS Conference 2016 (AIDS 2016) from 18 to 22 July. These events, scheduled to take place in Durban, will attract international and local audiences to the city.

South Africa has made significant progress in expanding access to improved TB diagnosis, increasing TB detection, improving treatment success rates for new pulmonary bacteriologically positive TB patients, and reducing treatment interruption. However, TB still remains a significant public health problem, and the leading cause of death in South Africa.

As part of its contribution to national efforts to prevent, manage and treat TB, the Durban TB Walk 2016 will:

  • increase public awareness about TB disease and share information on basic TB infection prevention, treatment and management strategies
  • engage public transport operators and commuters
  • provide comprehensive health services, including TB screening, HIV testing and diabetes screening.

Although there is progress in the fight against TB, in South Africa the battle is not yet won. The Durban TB Walk 2016 is a fun way to highlight the importance of TB screening, testing and treatment adherence, and promoting a healthy lifestyle.

Comments and queries should be addressed to: Ms Petronella Mugoni, Manager of Strategic Communications: USAID Tuberculosis South Africa Project E-mail: Tel: +27 12 484 9334 Mr Phumlani Ximiya, Director of Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization, South Africa National Department of Health Email: Tel: +27 12 395 8911

Press Information

Fun walk from Botha’s Park, Opposite the Durban University of Technology on Berea Road, to Gugu Dlamini Park.

Date: Friday 15 July 2016 Venue: Botha’s Park, opposite the Durban University of Technology on Berea Road to Gugu Dlamini Extension, where an edutainment activity and TB and other health screening will be provided

Time: Starting time is 07:00am

MCs: Claire Mawisa and Matli Mohapeloa TB, and diabetes screening, as well as HIV testing will be available at the Gugu Dlamini Park, where educational and promotional materials will be distributed. Buddy Beat TB − a costumed character used to provide support and comfort to pediatric patients undergoing treatment for TB in hospitals − will be an integral part of the walk and related activities.