When the US went to bat for Big Pharma in the fight against this killer disease, South Africa wasn’t having any of it. Here’s what happened next.
Graveyard cough, white plague, consumption. A killer by any name, TB has stalked the human race for aeons, lurking in crowded tenements or following miners deep underground, hanging in the air of our hospitals.
Always there, yet rarely spoken.
Today, it kills more people than HIV and malaria combined, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports. In South Africa, Statistics South Africa’s latest data shows TB remains the leading cause of non-violent deaths.
Yet it took the United Nations 73 years to call a meeting on TB — and only because a very excitable South African health minister agitated enough for it.