Dec 2005

Six ways to beat TB

This is the popular and streetwise slogan the government is using to fight Tuberculosis or TB as it is commonly known.

The Hola 6 campaign  started in September this year. It aims to improve TB treatment and prove that the disease can be cured by taking your medication and following the doctor’s instruction for only six months.

Head of South Africa’s TB Control Programme, Dr Lindiwe Mvusi said that the time was right for the public and health workers to step up the fight against TB.

“TB can be cured. But its close relationship with Aids has made it difficult to control,” Mvusi said.

The Hola 6 campaign will continue until the World TB Day on March 24 next year.


Six ways to beat TB:

1.         Know the signs which are;

-         Coughing for more than two weeks, coughing blood, loosing weight and appetite, night sweats,
            unexplained tiredness and pain in the chest.

2.         Get  tested at any local clinic

3.         If you have TB, get treatment immediately at a local clinic

4.         Take treatment for six months

5.         Ask someone to help you keep to the treatment plan e.g. A community worker, health worker,
            family member or a friend and;

6.         Live a healthy lifestyle – stop smoking and drinking alcohol, don’t take drugs, eat healthy food
            and exercise.


Treatment of TB in children

         TB in children can also be cured with medicines taken everyday for six months

         The medicines dissolve in water so it is easy for babies to take

         Children who are infected with HIV get TB more easily. Their TB may be difficult to identify.


How do I prevent a child from getting TB?

         All children should be immunised or injected against TB immediately after they are born.

         Children may be in contact with someone with TB in the family, at crèche, a child minder or
            domestic worker.

         Any child under the age of five who has had contact with a person who has TB should be taken to
            the clinic to be checked.

         If the child is healthy, he or she should be given medicines called Isoniazid (INH) to prevent TB.

How does TB spread? (box)

         TB is spread through the air. Germs go into the air when someone who has TB coughs spits or
            sneezes. It is spread easily in overcrowded places. TB germs attack the lungs. It causes holes
            and other damage in the lungs. It can also spread through the blood to other parts of the body.

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