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COVID-19: Lockdown takes heavy toll on SA’s TB response
As South Africa nears day 55 of its COVID-19 lockdown, a new modelling study by the Stop TB Partnership suggests that the longer countries spend under lockdown, the more tuberculosis (TB) cases and deaths the world could see.
Newly Available Tests for Rapid TB Diagnosis: What you need to know
Three products have recently been made available to support TB programmes’ efforts to reach UN TB targets to detect and treat 40 million people with TB by 2022, including 3.5 million children, as well as 1.5 million people with drug-resistant TB. All three tests offer opportunities for multiplexing, with menus of tests for other diseases available, including COVID-19 tests.
NICD Report: Impact of Covid-19 interventions on TB testing in South Africa
The COVID-19 level 5 restrictions has resulted in a ~ 48% average weekly decrease in TB Xpert testing volumes while, the number of TB positive declined by 33%. The relative difference resulted in a higher weekly positivity rate during the lockdown period. These unintended consequences will have a negative impact on efforts to control TB which remains the leading infectious disease cause of death in South Africa currently.
COVID-19: Myths and Facts
FAST FACTS COVID-19 is a new virus which has spread quickly to many countries around the world including in Southern Africa. Knowing the facts about COVID-19 symptoms, how the virus spreads and what you can do to stop it will help protect you and your community. There is a lot of misinformation about COVID-19 so it’s important to check information has come from a reliable source such as the World Health Organization or your government health authority.
With nations around the world confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, the fact that tuberculosis remains the world’s deadliest infectious disease – killing between 1-1.5 million people globally every year – must be highlighted.
New Report Shows Devastating Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on TB Response: 6.3 Million More People Ill with TB and 1.4 Million More TB Deaths by 2025
Length of quarantine, movement restrictions and disruption of TB services could spell disaster for hundreds of thousands at risk
South Africa begins Covid-19 BCG vaccine trial
TASK, a medical trials centre in Cape Town, has administered a Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine to 250 healthcare workers as part of a clinical study to help fight off the effects of Covid-19.
COVID-19: Don’t take BCG vaccine away from kids who need it for TB, experts say
A recent report claiming that the anti-tuberculosis (TB) vaccine, known as the BCG vaccine, protects against COVID-19 should be “interpreted with extreme caution”, according to a group of leading TB experts writing in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. Authors of the new paper published on Tuesday include leading South African researchers Dr Mark Cotton, Professor Simon Schaaf and Dr Anneke Hesseling.
Union warns the COVID-19 pandemic must not divert attention from the needs of children and adolescents in TB-endemic African countries
The Union warned that if resources are diverted away from child and adolescent tuberculosis (TB) programmes in order to fight COVID-19, the consequences for the estimated 400,000 children and adolescents in the African region needing TB and multidrug-resistant TB care each year could be devastating.
The TB Response is Heavily Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic
08 April 2020, Geneva, Switzerland - Stop TB Partnership Secretariat organized a rapid assessment of the impact the  COVID19 pandemic and related measures have on the TB response in 20 High Burden Countries that represent 54% of the global TB burden, through interviews with National TB Programmes (NTPs) and focal points based on a set of open-ended questions. Similarly, the Global Coalition of TB Activists (GCTA) did a worldwide survey through their network of members collecting answers from TB civil society and communities from 16 countries, with data updated regularly.

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