Local Organization IRD South Africa Maintains Access To TB Services

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South Africa’s COVID-19 level 5 lockdown resulted in significant challenges in accessing TB care for patients. One of the biggest concerns was the decommissioning of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) services in facilities like Tshwane District Hospital to make way for a COVID-19 isolation ward. To address this, the local organization, Interactive Research and Development (IRD) SA, proactively started contacting DR-TB patients who had been redirected to other facilities to ensure that patients did not miss their appointments.

Of the 20 patients traced during lockdown, four patients completed treatment and 10 patients were referred to nearby facilities. One of these patients was successfully traced, found to be clinically ill, and in need of hospitalization. IRD SA staff arranged transport to take the patient to Pretoria West Hospital, accompanied the patient, and waited until he was admitted. As the patient was living in poor conditions, IRD SA also arranged for help with food and transport and conducted contact tracing.

A diagram showing patients who were traced from the 1st week of level 5 lock down up until the end of May. Photo Credit: IRD South Africa
A diagram showing patients who were traced from the 1st week of level 5 lock down up until the end of May. Photo Credit: IRD South Africa

Last updated: September 17, 2020

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