The National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOH) joins the rest of the world in commemorating World TB Day. This year’s theme is “United to End TB”—the second of a two-year campaign.

In South Africa, the day is celebrated under the theme “Unite to End TB and HIV – South African Leaders Taking Action”. According to the Department of Health, those most affected by the TB pandemic include miners, mining communities and their families, correctional facilities, deep outlying rural areas, farming communities, peri-mining communities and early learning centres.

In its World TB Day press release, The World Health Organisations (WHO) revealed that TB claims more than 5 000 lives daily and “the heaviest burden is carried by communities which already face socio-economic challenges”.

This year, the WHO launched ethics guidance for the implementation of the End TB Strategy. The aim is to ensure that countries implementing the End TB Strategy adhere to sound ethical standards to protect the rights of those affected by TB.

Below are some facts and tips about TB from the Department of Health:

  • TB is curable even if you are HIV positive
  • TB can be anywhere, everywhere, and everyone must screen for TB
  • Take your TB treatment without fail for 6 months and be cured
  • Cover your mouth with your elbow when you cough
  • Open your windows for fresh air
  • Wash your hands regularly