World TB day is commemorated each year to raise awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of tuberculosis (TB) and to step up the efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.
A lot of effort that has been put in trying to empower the communities with preventative measures and to cure this deadly disease but despite these measures TB continues to be the top infectious killer worldwide, claiming over 4 500 lives a day. In 2017 the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that 10.4 million people fell ill with TB and there were 1.8 million TB deaths in 2016. The emergence of multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) poses a further major health risk that adversely influences the progress made in the fight against TB.
“The 2018 theme makes an appeal to all leaders in different spheres in the communities to play a positive role in trying to combat the spread of TB and also to ensure that all those that are on treatment adheres to their treatment plans. As the voice of the nursing profession the SANC pledges its support to educate nurses and the public who interact with people affected with TB, whether at work or in the community at large,” says Ms Sizo Mchunu, SANC Registrar & CEO.
The SANC acknowledges that the nursing profession is the backbone of the health system and as such nurses attend to people who are diagnosed with TB, who are already on treatment and those that are immune-compromised. Nurses are frequently the first professionals to have contact with infected people, which exposes them to the disease and increases the risk of occupational TB. The SANC therefore appeals to nurses as leaders in their communities and health facilities to ensure that they adhere to the TB management protocols in order to protect themselves and also ensure that any new TB infections decreases and patients take their medication properly and timeously.
The nursing profession’s standards of care include enabling patients to achieve an adequate level and quality of life and with TB nurses play a crucial role in control programs.
Ms Mchunu says: “The SANC, as the governing body in the nursing profession and nursing education, will continue to engage in programs contributing to the dream of a TB-free
Official Spokesperson and person to be quoted:
Ms S Mchunu
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