World TB day — learners engage with minister

Tebogo Tlhako
MARAPONG — Learners of Mabalane Seleka Technical High School, Phegelelo and Tielelo Secondary and Hoërskool Ellisras, had the opportunity to speak to Health Minister, Dr. Aaron Motsoaledi at Tielelo Secondary school on Monday 21 March.
The dialogue session was to engage with the learners. Motsoaledi explained that many learners are not aware of the dangers of both TB and HIV/AIDS, how having sugar daddies could affect their lives and the 90-90-90 vision which means that one needs to test at least 90% of those most vulnerable to these deseases; treat at least 90% of those found to have these deseases; and ensure that 90% of those with TB are cured; and that at least 90% of those with HIV are virally surpressed. He said: “This is a very important finding and I wish to congratulate all those that participated in this process.”
The learners had the opportunity to ask the Minister questions on health related issues, and learners wanted clarity on how a person with HIV/AIDS gets TB and how they affect each other, and the side effects of taking TB medication.
Motsoaledi revealed statistics which had the learners shocked that in more than five African countries 5 000 people are infected with HIV/AIDS every week, while 2 000 of them are South Africans. He also said that young girls between the ages of 15 to 25 are more likely to be infected with the HIV virus that other age groups.
Sbu Hlongwane of Mabalane Seleka Technical School asked how can one reduce the incidence of TB? The Minister responded by saying that you need to go for regular check-ups, be on treatment and finish the course.
Motsoaledi said that you can be HIV positive but deliver a healthy baby by being treated on the prevention of mother to child transmission programme.

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