Global Health and Care Systems Society highlights World TB Day

Tuesday 24 March was World TB Day – a day to think about Tuberculosis, an airborne disease that still kills 4000 per day, and has killed more people than any other infectious disease in history. The COVID-19 outbreak is impacting the ability of the health system to help people affected by TB and health workers to protect themselves with N95 respirators in devastating ways.

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Credit TB Proof

The Oxford Global Health and Care Systems Society (OGHCS) co-organiser Helene-Mari is co-founder and current chairperson of the board of TB Proof, a non-profit NGO by South African health care workers and students after personal experiences with occupational tuberculosis. The OGHCS has secured free online access to the film Unmasked: We All Breathe, that was due to be screened for World TB day and features three of these workers, who became MDR-TB patients themselves. It is a story of hope that speaks about surviving the fear, the medical treatments and the stigma that millions face around the globe, while transforming themselves into advocates to find the will and the resources to beat TB. To get access details for the film, email the OGHCS.

In a recent OGHCS initiative, students received funding to attend the London Global Health Film Festival, where the film was screened. Unmasked: We All Breathe received great reviews at the festival and was one of the students’ top picks. (Read the blog of global health society members who attended the film festival here). One of the doctors feature in the film is speaking at an online webinar today, 25 March at 18:30 GMT.

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Helene-Mari Van Der Westhuizen in the C20 call.

Helene-Mari has also worked on ‘A TB activist’s guide to Covid-19’ and represented TB Proof on a C20 (civil society engagement mechanism of G20) discussion on 24 March 2020. There she spoke about the impact of Covid-19 on the global TB response, with the G-20 host nation, Saudi Arabia, leading the discussion. Helene-Mari’s DPhil research focuses on infection control in low resource settings, leading to her providing input on South African infection control guidelines for COVID-19.

Access the film: email student.soc-oghcs@gtc.ox.ac.uk.

Access the webinar

Created: 25 March 2020