South Africa is the ninth country out of 22 nations in the world with the heaviest burden of tuberculosis, Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang said Monday in Johannesburg at the launch of an advocacy and social mobilization campaign to curb TB. "We report more than 1,000 cases a year," she said, noting that South Africa is taking the necessary action to reverse TB's prevalence and has developed a national plan she will unveil on March 24 -- World TB Day. The program's goal is a cure rate of 85 percent and a detection rate of 70 percent over the next two years. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has donated R8.4 million (US $1.03 million) to help South Africa fight TB over the period, said Tshabalala-Msimang. The money augments what the national government set aside for the same purpose. World Health Organization liaison officer Welile Shasha said the 22 countries listed accounted for 80 percent of the world's TB infections.
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