The Department of Health is to launch a programme to conduct tuberculosis (TB) screening on about 500 000 miners in six mining districts in South Africa, along with 150 000 inmates in 242 correctional services facilities.

The screening of mineworkers will include the family members of those who tested positive for TB and children who attend schools or creches in the mining towns.

Minister Motsoaledi said TB killed about 50 000 people per annum in South Africa.

High incidence among mineworkers

“The incidence of TB in the mines in South Africa is the highest of any working community anywhere in the world,” he said.

In addition, the Department of Health said that every single person in correctional services facilities will have to be screened for TB, stated Motsoaledi.

“We will also screen the families of those who have tested positive,” said the Minister.

He was speaking at press conference following a South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) plenary meeting in Secunda, in Mpumalanga.

The meeting was chaired by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The Minister said the programme will be launched on 24 March 2015 – on World TB Day.

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