South African National Tuberculosis Association (SANTA) 420 views

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South African National Tuberculosis Association (SANTA)

The South African National Tuberculosis Association (SANTA) was formed in 1947 to establish SANTA branches, provide beds for TB patients and to offer care to TB patients and their families.In the early years, SANTA also trained health educators, ran health education programmes and managed TB prevention schemes throughout the country. Now, over half a century later, SANTA continues its fight against TB/HIV, but with a different emphasis. The diagnosis, drug treatment and inpatient care of TB/HIV patients is now handled mainly by the Department of Health. So, in addition to its awareness programmes, SANTA is training volunteers in DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment Short-course), and SANTA volunteers are helping TB/HIV patients in their communities by making sure that they take their TB/HIVtreatment.This is important work because it ensures adherence to treatment. But the battle against TB in South Africa is being lost. More recently, with SANTA’s growing awareness of the importance of good nutrition in the prevention and management of TB, feeding schemes have been included in some of their community outreach programmes. This is SANTA’S unique contribution to the management of TB/HIV in South Africa and needs to persue this in close cooperation with the Department of Health and other stakeholders.

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