By Jack Bloom MPL, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health:
There are an estimated 1000 Multi-Drug Resistant TB cases in Gauteng, but only 217 of these cases have been placed on treatment.
This information is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Maglangu in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.
The number of diagnosed MDR-TB cases has risen over the last three years as follows:
- 2012 – 747
- 2013 – 857
- 2014 – 1007
According to Mahlangu, the increase is because of population growth.
Of the 217 MDR-TB patients on treatment, 115 are at the Sizwe Hospital, and the others are at the following hospitals:
- Pholosong Hospital – 43
- Tembisa Hospital – 13
- South Rand Hospital – 13
- Tshwane District Hospital – 11
- Johan Heyns CHC – 8
- Helen Joseph Hospital – 4
- Leratong Hospital – 4
- Charlotte Maxeke Hospital – 3
- Carletonville Hospital – 3
The cure rate for MDR-TB is only 55%, and 238 people have died of MDR-TB in the last three years.
I am concerned that only about one in five MDR-TB patients in Gauteng are being treated.
This means that about 800 people with MDR-TB are spreading infection to others because they have not been diagnosed and put on treatment in a hospital.
There needs to be a higher priority in tracing people with this virulent form of TB as they are a danger to others and need to be treated if they are to have a chance of survival.