Nolungile Community Health Centre in Khayelitsha

South Africa is one of the countries with the highest burden of tuberculosis (TB), with the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics giving an estimated incidence of 450,000 cases of active TB in 2013. So almost 1% of the population of about 50 million develop active TB disease each year. This is worldwide the third highest incidence of any country after India and China, and the incidence has increased by 400% over the past 15 years. Out of the 450,000 incident cases in South Africa it is estimated by WHO that about 270,000 (60%) people have both HIV and TB infection.

The latest figure from the South African Department of Health is that 73% of TB patients are HIV positive. When figures are provided by both WHO and the South African government, and the figures are different, this can be because the WHO is always providing estimated figures, whereas the South African government is providing actual figures. WHO give a prevalence figure for active TB of 390,000 people in South Africa in 2011.

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