How can we take a Sustainable Approach to end TB in South Africa?

Moderator: Vanessa Carter
Date: 21 March 2019
20:30 – 21:30 (SAST)
How to participate

Facebook event reminder

Join us for a 60-minute Twitter chat on the 21st of March as a lead-up to World TB Day which we are moderating on behalf of TBProof South Africa together with our special guests. Everyone is welcome to join including doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs, policymakers, patients, academics, pharma, medical educators, students, payers, IT developers, journalists, data scientists, civil society, NPO’s, researchers, etc. both locally and globally. Our focus for this session will be around “What a Sustainable Approach to ending the TB epidemic in South Africa actually means”. The transcript will be recorded and made available afterwards by Symplur Analytics.


OPENING: 5-minute introductions and welcome. Questions start thereafter.

T1: What do you think the greatest challenges are for TB patients in South Africa? (eg. Stigma)
T2: What challenges do medical professionals have managing TB in South Africa? (eg. Contracting TB)
T3: How do you think innovation like e-Health could help to tackle TB in South Africa? (eg. Data collection)
T4: What economic factors impact Sustainable solutions to end TB in South Africa? (eg. Poverty)
T5: What can be done to empower patients as equal partners to end TB in South Africa?

CLOSING: CT: What other thoughts would you like to add?

Start your answers with T1, T2, T3, T4, T5 or CT
 for transcript purposes.
Answer only after the moderator prompts. Questions will be prompted every 10 minutes, but keep answers coming using the relevant T and number. Both panel guests and the public are encouraged to answer. Use the #hcsmSA hashtag in all your tweets so that you are visible to others in the chat and on the transcript

Video source: Drug-resistant TB cases booming in South Africa | Al Jazeera English

How might we take a Sustainable Approach to end the TB Epidemic in South Africa
World TB Day takes place on the 24th of March 2019. Tuberculosis and its drug-resistant forms constitute a global health crisis. TB is airborne and causes the most deaths worldwide of any single communicable disease. Because
TB is widespread and driven by numerous social factors, the global response to TB must go beyond purely medical or public health approaches. Ending TB, therefore, requires the high-level political leadership that only Heads of State and Governments can provide. Through the Sustainable Development Goals and their endorsement of the WHO End TB Strategy, UN member states have committed to ending the TB epidemic by 2030. However, at the current rate of progress, this will not be achieved for at least another 150 years. Without immediate concrete action, an estimated 28 million people will die from TB by 2030, at a global economic cost of USD$1 trillion. The case for ending the TB epidemic is clear. Every dollar spent on TB could return benefits to society worth US$43.[1]

Tuberculosis is a bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It responds to antibacterial medications (antibiotics) but because it is very slow growing it requires treatment for a minimum of 6 months with multiple antibiotics to achieve cure.[2] The World Health Organisation estimates that 124,000 people died of TB in South Africa in 2016 (about 330 daily). It is the country’s leading cause of death, and has been made much worse by the HIV epidemic: over 80% of people who died of TB in 2016 were also infected with HIV. People with damaged immune systems are at much greater risk of becoming ill with TB.[3]

Patient participation is a key issue for tackling TB, however many factors contribute towards making it difficult to empower them as equal partners. Stigma, for example, may keep people from seeking medical care or follow-up care for TB. Another example may be a patient not understanding the importance of medication adherence and how it could considerably impact on whether their infection becomes drug-resistant. Drug-resistant TB is more difficult to treat, in many instances, resistance can also lead to death. Education is an important tool for improving patient empowerment, however, can be complex and time-consuming when it falls upon the shoulders of the care provider. e-Health tools in future such as mobile applications and digital platforms could help to provide effective solutions that enable these patient-to-doctor partnerships, but in South Africa, many other barriers must first be overcome, such as connectivity and access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) like smartphones or affordable data. On the other hand, digital innovation does have the potential to encourage patient engagement when designed meaningfully but are also not the only answer, therefore improving existing structures are important to consider too. Since the 1978 Alma Ata Declaration, the participation of people in, and their contribution to, the development of health systems has been recognised as central to primary health care and accepted as an essential element of many public health interventions.[4] Sustainable solutions to tackling TB would require a holistic approach as well as an understanding of each stakeholder’s experience and what they believe could be improved so that no one is left behind, especially whilst we undergo health reform in South Africa with the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI).

During this 60-minute session, we explore what it means to implement a Sustainable Approach to ending TB in South Africa on behalf of TBProof which is a leading advocacy organisation. Join us to share your perspective for World TB Day 2019. Further reading is available on the WHO Campaign website here: .Use the hashtag #hcsmSA to join the conversation coupled with either #EndTB, #Tuberculosis, #TBProof or #WorldTBDay.  Our transcript will be recorded on the hashtag #hcsmSA by Symplur.

Health Hashtags:

Healthcare Social Media (hcsm) trending hashtags and global communities related to TB:
#Tuberculosis, #EndTB, #WorldTBDay


  1. KPMG. 2017. Global Economic Impact of Tuberculosis: https://docs.wixstatic
  2. Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre. 2019. Tuberculosis in South Africa: 
  3. GroundUp. 2018. Why do so many South Africans die of TB?: 
  4. NCBI. Involvement of communities and patients in tuberculosis care and prevention: 

Panel Guests:
The chat session is open to everyone to participate, however, our panel experts bring a unique set of perspectives relating to the topic.

Michelle Galloway – @eemmmggeee
TB activist, administrator at TB Proof and Maters candidate.

Ingrid Schoeman – @ingridsuidA
TB Proof Operations Manager, two-time TB survivor and TB activist.

TB HIV Care – @TBHIVCare
A non-profit organization dedicated to empowering communities to be healthy and free of TB and HIV. Read more at

Peter Ngola – @peterngolaowiti
Executive Director of Wote Youth Development Projects. Member UCAP/STBP/UHC/AVAST. Global Citizen. GCTA Chair Makueni NGO’s Network. MCSO Network Chair EYC Makueni. TB Activist.

Wieda Human – @wiedahuman ‏
TB activist, Communications Manager at TB Proof, Registered Dietitian, PhD candidate.

Dr Renier Coetzee – @reniercoetzee
Dr Coetzee is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Western Cape.

Phumeza Tisile – @ptisile
XDR-TB survivor (Extensively Drug-Resistant), TB activist, Director at TB Proof, University of Cape Town (UCT) student.

  1. Chats are public. Even if you use a platform like, they still show on your timeline. Think before you tweet! Read more about maintaining a good digital footprint here.
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    Refer to the Twitter Terms and Conditions of use. Disrespectful behaviour can be reported.
  3. Don’t be afraid to lurk, although participation is always encouraged, even if the topic is not within your expertise, your voice matters.
  4. Visit to check out the analytics and transcript which is open to the public.
  5. If you don’t understand a question from the moderator, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for clarity!
  6. Use this opportunity to network with other stakeholders and follow them on Twitter.
  7. When entering the Twitter chat, first introduce yourself and tell other members what you do so they get to know you.
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  9. The chat runs for 60 minutes, but you can join in at any time.
  10. Start answers with the relevant T’s and number for transcript purposes.
  11. Answer each question after the moderator prompts but keep answers coming even if we move onto the next one. We don’t want to miss out on your views!
  12. Both panel experts and attendees are invited to participate because everyone’s perspective counts.
  13. Use the hashtag (#hcsmSA) in all of your tweets or you won’t be visible in the chat.
  14. More information about how to participate in a Twitter chat can be read here

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