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Tuberculosis (TB) and Nutrition

Publication year: 
Corporate author: 
Nutrition Information Centre University of Stellenbosch
Publication details: 
Nutrition Information Centre University of Stellenbosch;2007

The disease is called by some, "The Mother of Diseases" and is as much a social disease as an infectious disease. TB is associated with poverty, overcrowding, alcoholism, stress, drug addiction and malnutrition and is by far the most common disease in South Africa. The disease spreads easily in overcrowded, badly ventilated places and among people who are undernourished. This has lead to TB being known as a disease of poverty. The Coloured population in the Western Cape seems to be at greatest risk with incidence rates in excess of 700 per 100 000 being reported in1994. The WHO has declared TB to be a global emergency and has called for urgent and extraordinary action. TB has infected approximately a third of the world’s population and there were an estimated 8.8 million new TB cases in 2005, with the concentration of cases being in poor countries. A total of 1.6 million people died of TB, including 195 000 patients infected with HIV.South Africa was classified as a high-TB burden country and was ranked 7th by the WHO,[according to rank based on estimated number of incident cases (all forms)] in 2005.