Source: Department of Health
Title: Tshabalala-Msimang: Launch of 'Hit TB for a 6!' initiative
VIDEO-RECORDED MESSAGE OF THE MINISTER OF HEALTH, DR MANTO TSHABALALA-MSIMANG, AT THE LAUNCH OF 'HIT TB FOR A 6!' CAMPAIGN, 6 March 2003
Representatives from the international STOP TB Partnership,
Cricketing and sporting fraternity in South Africa and around the world,
Members of the media,
As the Minister of Health and a proud supporter of the Proteas, I regret that I am not able to join in this unveiling of 'Hit TB for a 6!'
As the hosts of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, we are honoured that the cricket fraternity has agreed to join forces with us in our efforts to communicate some important facts about TB. The messages we are communicating is that:
* TB is completely curable
* Secondly, TB treatment is available at our public clinics and it is free.
TB is one of the biggest health and social challenge facing our world today. As you may know, tuberculosis is a disease that has taken perhaps more lives than any other illness in the history of humankind. It continues to take life of 5 000 people every day worldwide - with 23 000 new infections a day! This is causing an immense burden of suffering and needless deaths. These deaths are needless because TB has been curable for the past 50 years. It is potentially one of the most preventable diseases. Its testing and treatment is widely available.
We require more than just the efforts of governments in order to defeat TB. As a government, we have been making available TB education, testing and treatment for many years trough our TB control programme. However, victory over TB requires commitment from various partners. It requires all of us to talk about TB and how it can be stopped.
It is through partnerships like these that we can hit TB hard. As the South African government, we fully support 'Hit TB for a 6!' We call on other partners, other sporting codes and other sectors of society to elevate the importance of tuberculosis. Each one of us can do something about TB. The little things that our heroes and all the great cricketers participating in this tournament can do about TB, will go a long way in raising awareness about TB and its symptoms, alleviating pain and preventing unnecessary deaths.
Please accept these special cricket helmets as a sign of our appreciation.
They are also a reminder of today. Let's wear the helmets and STOP TB - because we can!
Published by the Department of Health, 4 March 2003