Tuberculosis remains disease of concern in South Africa

January 11, 2022

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the major causes of death in South Africa, killing thousands every year.

“South Africa has the eighth highest TB incidence globally at a rate of 537 per 100,000 population per year,” Jody Boffa, an epidemiologist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, told Anadolu Agency. “It is one of the 16 countries that account for 93 percent of the global TB burden.”

Last year, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) released a report saying that TB topped the leading causes of death in the country in 2018.

Stats SA processed 454,014 deaths that occurred and TB-related deaths stood at 6.0%, followed by diabetes, cerebrovascular diseases, other forms of heart disease and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), among others.

The estimated number of TB cases in South Africa in 2018 was 301,000, while the number of deaths was 63,000, according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).

In 2019, an estimated 360,000 South Africans became sick with TB and 58,000 died from the disease.

Stats SA’s June 2021 report found TB remained the leading cause of death in the three years from 2016 – 2018.


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