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Finding the Missing TB Patients

In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that in South Africa, approximately 154,000 people living with tuberculosis (TB) in the country never made it to a health facility for diagnosis and care. In addition, about 13,400 persons tested and confirmed to have TB by the National Laboratory Services (NHLS) were never initiated on treatment. Finding people with TB infection and disease in the country is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda, which is aimed at ending South Africa's TB epidemic by increasing identification, initiation on treatment and retention in care to of people with TB, to reduce new infections.

Finding people with TB is particularly important for vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations in geographically remote areas, especially those with limited access to TB diagnostic and treatment services. The USAID TB South Africa Project implements innovative strategies aimed at improving TB case-finding, quick initiation on treatment and retention in care until cured.