The TB statistics for South Africa include the TB incidence. This is the number of new cases, usually of active TB disease that have occurred in the country during a certain time period which is usually a year.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics give an estimated incidence of 301,000 cases of active TB in 2018.1Global Tuberculosis Control 2019, WHO, Geneva, 2019 www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/en/ This is a rate of 520 per 100,000 population. It is estimated that 11,000 people became ill with MDR/RR-TB in 2018.
There is more about TB in South Africa.
It is estimated that about 80% of the population of South Africa is infected with TB bacteria, the vast majority of whom have latent TB rather than active TB disease. The highest prevalence of latent TB, estimated at 88% has been found among people in the age group 30-39 years old living in townships and informal settlements.2National Strategic Plan on HIV, STIs and TB 2012-2016, South African National AIDS Council, 2011
TB continues to be the leading cause of death in South Africa. In 2018 a total of 63,000 people died of TB. Of these it is estimated that 42,000 were HIV positive.3Global Tuberculosis Control 2019, WHO, Geneva, 2019 www.who.int/tb/publications/global_report/en/
TB Treatment Statistics
Children under 5 with symptoms of TB started on TB treatment
In 2018/19 the national TB child under 5 years started on treatment rate was only 10.2%. The Western Cape had the highest rate at 32.8% and the Free State the lowest at only 2.2%.
Five of the six districts in the Western Cape ranked among the 10 best performing districts in 2018/19. Eighteen districts had a rate below 5%. Lejweleputswa (Free State) only started 1.0% of children under 5 years with TB symptoms on treatment.
It is considered to be:
"of great concern that only 10.5% of children under 5 years with TB symptoms received TB treatment in 2018/19. The country is not on track to reach the Universal Health Coverage targets for TB effective treatment. The initial loss-to-follow-up rate for children under 5 is unacceptably high".
|Province||Percentage of Symptomatic Children Started on TB Treatment 2018/2019|
TB Client 5 Years and Older Started on Treatment Rate
In 2018/19 the national TB client 5 years and older started on treatment rate was 97.8%. Much higher than the TB child under 5 years started on treatment rate of only 10.2%.The national target for TB clients 5 years and older started on treatment rate is 100%.
Across provinces the rate varied between 106.6% in North West and 77.1% in Free State. Free State also had the lowest TB child under 5 years started on treatment rate in 2018/19. Five of the nine provinces had a rate exceeding 100%. This could be due to data quality problems or inclusion of non bacteriologically confirmed patients.
|Province||Percentage of TB Clients 5 Years & Older Started on TB Treatment 2018/19|
Incidence rate for provinces
There appears to be little publically available information about how the incidence rates in the provinces and districts may have changed since 2015. The data for 2015 is the data used for the starting point of the National Strategic Plan 2017 - 2022 (NSP). Later data should be available when the mid term report is published of the progress made on the NSP.
The Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape are the provinces which had the highest incidence rates in South Africa with reported rates of 692, 685 and 681 per 100,000 respectively for 2015.
|Province||Incidence Rate 2015|
The districts with the highest incidence rate in each province were as follows:
|Province||District||Rate in 2015|
|Eastern Cape||S Baartman||1,022|
|North West||Dr K Kaunda||690|
|Northern Cape||Pixley ka Seme||943|
|Western Cape||Cape Winelands||880|
Incident rate for high burden districts
There are 19 districts which are considered high burden districts and which are going to be prioritized by the National Strategic Plan.
These districts and their incidence rates are as follows:
|Province||District||Incidence Rate 2015||District||Incidence Rate 2015||District||Incidence Rate 2015||District||Incidence Rate 2015||District||Incidence Rate 2015|
|Eastern Cape||Oliver Tambo||571||Nelson Mandela Bay||938||Chris Hani||623||Buffalo City||743||Saartjie|
|Gauteng||City of Johannesburg||326||Ekurhulleni||298||City of Tshwane||330||West Rand||397|
|North West||Bojanala||419||Dr Kenneth Kaunda||690|
|Western Cape||City of Cape Town||596||West Coast||837|
Some of these districts are ones that have the highest incidence rate in a particular province. But notable abscences are any districts in the Northern Cape including Pixley ka Seme (943) and ZF Mgcawu (856).
This page was last updated in May 2020.
Author Annabel Kanabus
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