TB Data, Sex and Gender

Did you know that males in South Africa are 1,6 times more likely to have TB than females? That’s 1,094 per 100,000 vs 675 per 100,000 respectively, according to the 2019 TB Prevalence Survey.

One of the findings of the South African Community, Rights and Gender Assessment was that while information about biological sex is collected at facility-level, it is not generally available for analysis in relation to TB statistics. This means that districts and provinces are largely unaware of how and whether sex impacts on their TB statistics. Similarly, any interventions implemented to reach males or females are difficult to monitor.

Information around gender (for example, cisgender, transgender, gender fluid or non-binary) is not routinely collected and there is therefore little data about how gender minorities experience TB services. This even though the limited data that does exist suggests that discrimination creates significant barriers to accessing care for gender minorities.

On Wednesday, 29 March 2023 TB HIV Care hosted a workshop in Johannesburg to explore how information around sex and gender is currently collected, and how it can – or should – be collected and presented within TB statistics.

The workshop, which was attended by representatives from SANAC and civil society, resulted in a draft position statement that will be presented to the CSF TB Task Team for adoption.

The ultimate aim is that the CSF TB Task Team will meet with the National TB Task Team to present the finalised position statement calling for real-time, sex-disaggregated TB data that helps inform and create evidence based-strategies to address differential disease risk and service utilisation.

Declaration of the Rights of People Affected by TB

On Monday, 13 May 2019, the Stop TB Partnership, together with TB People (a global network of people affected by TB), as well as NGOs and community delegations launched the Declaration of the Rights of People Affected by TB in Geneva, Switzerland.

The launch of this Declaration marks a major milestone in recognising the urgent need to adopt a human rights-based approach to TB, to fund human rights-based interventions that overcome barriers to universal access to TB diagnosis, prevention, treatment, care and support services – and to put people affected by TB at the centre of the TB response.

The Declaration itself aims to empower people affected by TB so they may know and claim their human rights.

The following are principles for a human rights-based approach to TB:

  • People (and affected communities) are placed at the centre, as equal partners, driving health policy, providing the individual and groups with the tools to participate and claim specific rights
  • The most marginalised, at risk and vulnerable people/groups are identified, informed and empowered to access TB prevention, treatment and care
  • Dignity is assured for patients and those affected
  • Socio-economic determinants of TB are addressed
  • Human rights implications of TB policy, legislation and programming are addressed
  • Institutional constraints and capacity gaps that prevent individuals and groups from fulfilling their rights related to TB are overcome
  • There is an integrated and multisectoral response to TB, making human rights an integral dimension in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of TB-related policies and programmes
  • Accountability tools are provided for governments, the international community and civil society to monitor the progress of all stakeholders in realising the right to health
  • A platform is provided for documenting and sharing best practices, supporting advocacy and social mobilisation around human rights relevant to TB.


You can read the full Declaration here.

Table Mountain lit up red to mark World TB Day

TB HIV Care, the National Department of Health and Table Mountain National Park, joined Stop TB Partnership’s global initiative to “Light up the World for TB” by lighting Table Mountain red on Saturday evening, 24 March.

This year 60 landmarks in 44 cities in 21 countries around the world were lit up to demonstrate a commitment towards ending TB. We were extremely proud to add Table Mountain to that list.

The event caught the imagination of many TB advocates, activists and champions – all the way up to the President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa. Unfortunately, the president was unable to make the event as planned (he was delayed in meetings), but we were honoured to welcome Dr Aaron Motsoaledi (who read an address from the president) as well as Dr Yogan Pillay (Deputy Director-General at the Department of Health), Dr Linda-Gail Bekker (Deputy Director of the DTHC) who gave a powerful address, and guests from Unitaid.

But, as Dr Motsoaledi recognised, the real VIP guests on the night were the children and staff of the Brooklyn Chest Hospital. Their presence reminded us that, in the words of President Ramaphosa, “the symbolism of lighting up landmarks around the world must extend beyond honoring those who have died from TB, to a commitment to ending TB by 2030 or sooner”.

Unfortunately we couldn’t do anything about the weather (and as Capetonians we are grateful for any rain!) and the overall effect was a little more subtle than hoped because of the cloud and mist. But it was a special night – one we will remember for a long time!

TB HIV Care was lucky enough to receive live coverage on eNCA as well as additional reporting on,, Eyewitness News and Cape Talk.

To read more about our contribution to the campaign, have a look at Stop TB Partnership’s latest newsletter.