Drop in HIV, TB testing since COVID-19 lockdown

Drop in HIV, TB testing since COVID-19 lockdown

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize says it's concerning to see a reduction in tests for non-COVID-19 related illnesses. 

HIV testing, blood tests
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Mkhize says since the beginning of the lockdown, there's been a drop in the number of tests for HIV and TB as well as other basic health services.

Briefing the media at the National Coronavirus Command Counsel on Monday - the minister said these illness require the same amount of attention as COVID-19. 

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He says more than 8 million people living with HIV, in the country, need regular treatment. 

COVID-19 found our health care system already managing the triple burden of HIV, TB and non-communicable diseases. 

"We know that the most vulnerable are those who suffer from these comorbidities, the main non-communicable ones being hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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"The issues of Tuberculosis, HIV, Diabetes, blood pressure and Cancer - we continue to manage those situations, and it becomes important that people must continue to get their treatment."

Mkhize urged people to seek care again. 

"One in every third South African suffers from hypertension which is a comorbidity which has bee associated with those who have passed as a result of COVID-19. 

"So we continue therefore to encourage our people to come through and be treated for all of these conditions."

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