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New diagnosis technology in SA unveiled on World TB Day

New technology that can diagnose patients with tuberculosis (TB) in two hours is to be rolled out across South Africa. The GeneXpert machine tests for TB much faster and more accurate than microscopic tests that are used to diagnose the disease, which could take between three to five months to produce results.
 GeneXpert provides much quicker TB diagnosis than tradi..
 
 
New technology that can diagnose patients with tuberculosis (TB) in two hours is to be rolled out across South Africa.

The GeneXpert machine tests for TB much faster and more accurate than microscopic tests that are used to diagnose the disease, which could take between three to five months to produce results.

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi revealed the machine at the Prince Mshiyeni hospital in Umlazi and said: "By unveiling this exciting new TB diagnostic machine today, we will be able to diagnose TB within 120 minutes and start patients on treatment immediately.”

Motsoaledi added this type of machine was the first of its kind in Africa and one of the only five outside the US.

"A single GeneXpert test can detect 98 percent of smear positive TB whilst microscopes detect 60 percent of smear positive TB," he said.


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The machine comes in three different sizes, with the biggest, the GX 38 (Infinity) having the ability to do 48 tests at a time and 197 tests in an eight hour period.

The GX16 can conduct 16 tests simultaneously and 64 tests in the same time, and the GX4 conducts four tests simultaneously and 16 tests.

The machines will be bought for all health facilities across South Africa.

Tweet for World TB Day

Meanwhile, Lancet Laboratories in South Africa have started a Twitter campaign as today is World TB day to help raise awareness about the disease to encourage people to use the hashtag #WorldTBDay in their tweets.

The company is offering one free sputum ZN test for every five times the hash tag #WorldTBDay is used in the country.

Twitter celebrated its fifth birthday earlier this week - click here to read about its African influence.

Yesterday was World Water Day, too and Africa received a warning from th UN about the lack of clean water for increasing urbanisation.

Last week, charity event Comic Relief raised over £74 million to help people in the UK and Africa to help prevent diseases such as AIDS and TB.



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