Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that usually affects the lungs. Compared with other diseases caused by a single infectious agent, tuberculosis is the second biggest killer, globally. In 2015, 1.8 million people died from the disease.
Key points about TB:
South Africa has one of the highest number of TB patients in the world. Seven countries account for 64% of all TB known cases, with India leading the count, followed by Indonesia, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria. In 2016, TB accounted for 7.2% of all deaths in SA.
People living with HIV are 20 to 30 times more likely to develop active TB disease than people without HIV. TB is a leading killer of HIV-positive people: in 2016, 40% of HIV deaths were due to TB.
The good news is that TB is curable and preventable. Since 2000, 53 million lives have been saved through effective diagnosis and treatment.