In South Africa, the tuberculosis infector pool is growing rapidly because neither the epidemic nor the fundamentals of control are clearly understood. The central issue in the strategy to control tuberculosis in South Africa is an understanding of the nature and extent of the infector pool and the dynamics of its maintenance and expansion. The combination of the unrestricted spread of HIV and an ineffective unbalanced tuberculosis control strategy is deadly. This article gives some (historic) background on the issue of the infector pool and proposes a way forward for tuberculosis control.
South Africa is faced with a public health catastrophe due, in part at least, to the mining activity, which laid the foundation of our economy. In the mines millions of men have worked in dangerous and dusty conditions. There have been three very high risk exposures in South African workplaces: silica, asbestos and tuberculosis, all resulting in serious lung problems. This article gives an historical perspective on the causes of occupational lung disease and what should have been done to lower the risks.