Western Cape World TB Day Event in Paarl

On 20 March, the community of Paarl in the Western Cape convened to observe World TB Day. The heat soared to a sweltering 39 degrees, so a massive thanks to our WCG team from Malmesbury who coped with the intense heat to set up TB HIV Care’s stand – and deliver services to community members who came to the Thusong Centre in Paarl East. This year’s theme, “YES! YOU AND I CAN END TB,” charged the atmosphere with a powerful resolve, rallying individuals and organisations to join the global fight against TB.

The multi-stakeholder event included a candle-lighting ceremony in remembrance of those lost to TB; an address by the Provincial Minister of Health & Wellness for the Western Cape, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo; a message from Keith Cloete (Head: Health & Wellness); advocacy messages and poetry; and first-hand stories from those directly affected by TB. Prof. Harry Hausler, CEO of TB HIV Care, in his capacity as Chairperson of the Western Cape Civil Society Forum, delivered a message of support – reminding everyone that behind every statistic and every number is a person with TB.

Throughout the day, personal accounts from those who had endured the challenges of TB painted a vivid picture of the disease’s impact, and the importance of the work our teams do. A particularly memorable moment was the Awards Ceremony, honouring the courage of 25 survivors of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). This celebration of courage and resilience stood as a testament to the progress in treatment and the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity.

The TB HIV Care Malmesbury team shone like the sun during the event. They were not only exemplary in providing HIV testing and counselling, TB screening and other health services but also in engaging the community with an educational game that became quite popular among attendees. This interactive approach to health education proved to be a big hit, effectively disseminating important health information while entertaining those present.

Thank you so much to everyone involved!