Durban, South Africa -- On July 9th, over 350 individuals from government, civil society, and the international community joined the Kwamakutha community in the South-Central sub-district of eThekwini to launch a 5-year linkage to care project for tuberculosis (TB) and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The event highlighted the importance of integrating screening and treatment for NCDs within the existing TB and HIV services in eThekwini. The event was attended by several high level officials from the National, Provincial, District Departments of Health as well as from the Municipal Health Office, including a keynote speech from Sibongiseni Dholo, MEC KwaZulu Natal.
This 5-year project, called NCD-LINK, is supported by Lilly Global Health and will be implemented in 10 public facilities across Umlazi, a sub-district of Durban. The project will be carried out by Advance Access & Delivery (AA&D) and its partners at Interactive Research & Development-South Africa (IRD-SA) and the South African Medical Research Council will lead the project’s monitoring and evaluation arm. NCD-LINK will build on TB and HIV infrastructure in KwaZulu Natal as a platform for screening and treating NCDs. The goal of the project is to expand access to these important medical services and hasten the delivery of care that people need.
Participants of this event were offered screening for TB, HIV, diabetes, and hypertension. Screening was provided by local teams from IRD-SA, the District Department of Health, and the Municipal Health Office. Project activities will begin later this year and will support the National Service Integration agenda as well as the National Wellness Campaign in which eThekwini is one of the high-burden sub-districts identified.