1000 Multi-drug resistant TB cases in Gauteng

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.