JOHANNESBURG, March 24 (Xinhua) -- As the world observes World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on Sunday, South African Department of Health said it is confident that the measures implemented would ensure the epidemic is contained in the country.
"TB is a major contributor to the burden of disease in South Africa and has a long history, particularly related to the mining sector as well as poverty," Health department spokesman Foster Mohale told Xinhua in an interview.
While the number people dying of TB is still alarming, strides have been made over the past decade, he said.
According to Statistics SA, TB-related deaths, at 48,000 in 2012, fell to to 29,513 in 2016.
With higher TB prevalence in the mines and prisons, Mohale said, the health department has raised the number of inspectors to monitor how TB is prevented and treated there.
"We have also put Genexpert (TB diagnostic technology) machines in the large prisons to enable prisoners to be tested for TB as rapidly as possible."
The World Health Organization says 1.6 million people globally die due to TB every year.