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Mine worker beats extreme drug resistance TB

The North West Department of Health has made yet another breakthrough in the treatment and management of Extreme Drug Resistance Tuberculosis (XDR TB). The XDR TB Unit situated at the Klerksdorp Tshepong Hospital Complex had this month confirmed that three more XDR TB patients have been completely cured.

This is in addition to three XDR TB patients who were reported to have been completely cured in 2012. Klersdorp Tshepong Hospital Complex TB Unit is the first in the country to completely cure XDR TB patient.

Mr. Jabulani Mthembu, who works at a mine in Rustenburg, is happy to be completely cured of XDR TB. Mr Mthembu says his strength and support from family and health officials saw her completing the treatment of a health condition that was termed impossible to cure by many.

"I was anxious at first but had to accept the diagnosis and cooperate with the doctors and nurses so that I can be healed and be discharged to go back to my normal life with my wife and kids", he said.

Mthembu was at XDR TB stage when he was admitted as a first time TB patient. He was immediately put on the basic XDR TB treatment with a new treatment drug called BEDAQUILINE. He responded very quickly to treatment and medical professionals at the hospital confirmed that he is TB free.

His advice to TB patients was simple: "TB is a curable and it only requires people to be patient with the treatment."

XDR TB is a form of TB which is resistant to at least four of the core anti-TB drugs. XDR-TB involves resistance to the two most powerful anti-TB drugs, isoniazid and rifampicin, also known as multidrug-resistance (MDR-TB).

MEC Dr. Magome Masike has attributed the success to centralized expertise at the MDR/XDR TB Unit in Klerksdorp.

"We brought together expertise and mobilised the resources to have a better understanding of how to manage these challenging disease.  Once we have harnessed the best knowledge and model, we got confident that we are doing the right thing and results are starting to show," MEC Masike said in light of the new developments.

The Unit was opened in 2010 and is treating patients with drug resistance TB from across the province.

South Africa will launch a massive TB screening programme on 24 March 2015 in Dr Kenneth Kaunda District with special focus on mines, mining communities and correctional centers.

Dr Kenneth Kaunda District is one of the six districts in the country that have been prioritized for the implementation of the massive TB programme. The massive TB programme to be launched will be similar to the National HIV Counseling and Testing which saw more than 20 million South Africans being tested for HIV.



  • Mission and Vision

  • Values

The Department derives its mandate from the following laws:
Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act, 108 of 1996
Provides for the rights of access to health care services and emergency medical

Healthy self reliant communities in the North West
To render accessible, equitable and integrated quality health

Batho Pele Principles, Patient Rights Charter, Victims Rights Charter, Children's Rights Charter, Disability Rights Charter, Older Persons Pledge, Public Service Principles, Accountability, Transparency, Community participation, Excellence, Caring, Human dignity & respect,Access

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Private Bag x2068, Mmabatho, 2735

Physical Address:
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Tel: +27 (0) 18 391 4000/1