Hon Chairperson, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, hon Members of Parliament, my colleague hon Gillion, the Chairperson of the Select Committee on Health and Social Services in the NCOP, we would like to start by commending the interministerial committee tasked by our President Ramaphosa
in conducting repatriation of our citizens from Wuhan in China, who will be landing this afternoon in our shores.
The outline by this committee yesterday showed an excellent military preparation for such an operation. I suppose our Ministers did not have to dig too deep in recollecting their Military Combat Work, MCW, training they had in uMkhonto we Sizwe. Thank you very much for this.
About 25 of our people will be laid to rest in Centane this afternoon in the Eastern Cape as part of the road carnage. The motor vehicle accident claimed more than 11 lives again in Gauteng, including three children from one single family. Many others are still lying in various hospitals. Motor vehicle accident has a huge impact on the health budget. We don't lose less than 10 people per week on our road accidents in this country.
The heightened awareness and attention that coronavirus is received by many, should be extended to the motor vehicle accident problems in our country and TB as a social problem. There is a saying that says; common things occur commonly. This is true for TB in South Africa. The information sharing
today in this debate is critical to improve our understanding of TB epidemic by all Members of Parliament such that in all districts where we have constituency offices. There is enough TB for you to assist in actually combating and managing it.
We therefore hope that this awareness is going to assist us in various areas where we are and where we have an impact. If there is one medical condition that is linked to the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality, it is TB. The Global TB Caucus is a network of parliamentarians that was launched in Barcelona on the 27 October 2014. The caucus has then become recognised as a global entity and has grown from seven Members of Parliament to over 2300 Members of Parliament in over 130 countries.
Regional network has also been established in Africa. Therefore, caucus realised that TB is the world's biggest killer and the objectives are there to accelerate our progress to ending TB epidemic through targets that are there in global, regional and national programmes. There is a declaration in this regard. We are happy that today we are re- launching the South African chapter of this Global TB Caucus
in Parliament and the STOP TB Partnership, where our former Minister was once part of.
I would like to draw your attention to one of the areas that are critical and want to talk about today. A problem called MDR and XDR. I would like you to understand what this is and indicate how it comes about and what role we can play as Members of Parliament. MDR as the name stands; is the Multiple Drug Resistance to TB where you suddenly cannot be able to have an impact on your TB with rifampicin or isoniazid, which we call the backbone of the treatment of TB.
Suddenly, we also developed what we call XDR; the extreme form of resistance where all first line treatment drugs for TB, including the injectables like amikacin and kanamycin are no more effective. But in a sociological term, for us as members of society if we leave this science behind, MDR and XDR TB is a failed management of TB by the society and, by society, I include you, hon members.
On the 10 April 2011, the former Minister of Health, Dr Motsoaledi, accompanied our former Deputy President, Mr Kgalema Motlanthe to KwaZulu- Natal to open the state of the
art MDR and XDR TB in Catherine Booth Hospital. In KwaZulu- Natal, there are more than 200 beds of this type of TB in Catherine Booth in Manguzi and King Dinuzulu, and many others. This is not a good story to tell.
We spend lot money treating TB but we spend much more to treat MDR and XDR TB. We should reduce TB, but we should eliminate MDR and XDR. This sign I am wearing is saying to us; there must be a cul-de-sac on TB. TB must go and stop at a particular time. It cannot stop if we always think that it is going to be a South African problem only.
How you get XDR is very important. Ordinary symptoms of TB which is loss of weight, loss of appetite, coughing for more than two weeks, night sweats; should be pre-empting us to go and get treatment for TB; including the support that we get from traditional healers and leaders. This means that you must be on TB treatment for six months and it is a real burden on the patient, the society and everybody else.
Now, how does it come about that you get XDR TB? When you to a clinic and they tell you to come back tomorrow because they don't have medication today, that is the start of XDR. They
never ask the patient if they have money to come back the next day or will they be allowed at work to come back tomorrow or is it the end of it? And suddenly, our patients disappear and never come back and then we call them defaulters, yet it was our own cause.
How many of us are willing and available in our own homes to support a member of the family who has a burden of taking tablets for six months; to remind them and give them support. If we don't do that we are also adding more to this issue of XDR. We need to actually say to people out there, ordinary health professionals called ... [Inaudible.] ... care workers who go around telling people to take the TB treatment. It is not a very easy issue.
If you do not take treatment for six months, conventional TB treatment, you then go into a stage where you must go for nine months or 12 months for a very expensive treatment for TB, sometimes in hospital. So it is very expensive to treat MDR and XDR. We should not be going that way.
We should all say collectively as Members of Parliament that I have a constituency where I have an office. Go there and just
check how many people in the area where you stay, where you have an office, are on treatment of TB. How many of those are taking treatment of TB regularly? How many of those prefer to take alcohol and forget to take TB treatment? In that way, you will close that space as a leader. And, if we were to be measured as parliamentarians, we should be measured about how many people in the area that I am part of as a constituency office are without TB or completes their treatment.
If we don't do that then we should think twice about having an impact in stopping TB. We have to work very closely with the religious leaders, traditional leader and traditional healers in various areas in our society because they have an important role to play. Now, I am therefore saying ...
... ukulashwa kwesifo sofuba masingayenzi inkinga yoMnyango Wezempilo kuphela, akube yinkinga yethu sonke zingumphakathi. Isiguli asithole ukwesekwa emndenini, sithole ukwesekwa nakubasebenzi bethu bezempilo emitholampilo. Umtholampilo mawube nemithi, ingapheli imithi, abantu bafike kuthiwe imithi ayikho akayobuya kusasa, bengamuphi imali yokuthi abuye
kusasa, angabe sabuya umuntu bese bathi uyena okhethe ukungezi ngosuku olubekiwe.
Umqashi naye akalekelele abantu, umqashi amudedele umuntu uma efuna ukuya emtholampilo eyolanda amaphilisi esifo sofuba ngoba kubaluleke kangaka. Ngakhoke zonke izakhiwo zomphakathi namahhovisi ethu omphakathi mawabe nayo indlela yokuthi sikwazi ukuqeda isifo sofuba emphakathini. Ngakhoke angifisi- ke Malungu ahloniphekile ePhalamende sithi, hhayi, indaba yesifo sofuba yinto nje kaDokotela uZweli Mkhize, yinto yoMnyango Wezempilo, yinto yethu sonke, lokhu sazalwa. Sesineminyaka esondele engamashumi ayisithupha kunesifo sofuba esingafuni ukuphela eNingizimu Afrika.
Kwenzenjani? Uma sithi eyalaba bantu akuyona eyethu, ngeke sikwazi ukuphumelela. Asiyibambeni sonke singabaholi, singumphakathi, sithi ...
... All of us have a role to stop TB. All of us have a role to completely eliminate the MDR and XDR because they are as a result of a management by the society. All of us there included. Thank you very much. [Applause.]