Church-Government TB Partnership!
With tuberculosis still the leading cause of death in South Africa — according to the World Health Organisation around 124 000 South Africans died from TB in 2016 alone — the Catholic Church has partnered with the health department to provide screening services in three municipal areas.
The Aids Office of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), in partnership with the National Department of Health’s TB directorate, became a service provider for the National Religious Association for Social Development in a project that screens TB contacts in Nelson Mandela Bay (Eastern Cape), Ehlanzeni (Mpumalanga), and eThekwini (KwaZulu-Natal) areas.
Maredi Modiba, manager of the TB project under the SACBC Aids Office, said that the project, which has been running from July 2017 and will end in March 2019, experienced a slow start but through the active participation and collaboration of different stakeholders, the project has shaped up and things have started running smoothly.
“In all three municipalities, the project is performing beyond the set target, which is measured on a daily and weekly base, a ground for hope that the project will be highly successful,” she said.
Various awareness and screening campaigns were held by the Aids Office on March 5. Members took part in door-to-door screening where they accompanied the MEC for health in the Bhambayi settlement of KwaZulu-Natal.
They held a consultative meeting with the religious in the eThekwini area and an agreement was reached that they will also take part in the prevention of TB.
The Mission of the SA Catholic Church
The SACBC team will do advocacy and screening at different parishes throughout the year.
Cases of TB and other related diseases are referred to local health institutions and are closely monitored.
So far, there have been positive follow-ups and clear evidence that referred patients are reporting back to the relevant health facilities for treatment.
“For the past 200 years, part of the mission of the Catholic Church has been building and promoting quality life for all South Africans, of which millions have benefited from the countless number of pro bono Church projects,” Ms Modiba said.
“Therefore, to talk of a better developed South Africa today without acknowledging the ample contribution of the Church in making this so is impossible,” she added.
“The Church continues to advance her mission by being a close partner that government can always rely on to promote a quality nation.”
The SACBC, in partnership with the government, encourages all people to visit their health facilities to test for TB and other related diseases, and to immediately start treatment when they are found positive.
When discovered early, and with faithful adherence to treatment, people can fully recover from TB and be completely cured.
For more information contact Maredi Modiba on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 012 323 6458.
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