The Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation has provided new equipment to to the Western Cape Department of Health to help in the fight against tuberculosis.
The cause is close to the Archbishop’s heart as he battled with TB in his teenage years.
The Foundation donated ten portable electrocardiograph machines, which are needed to monitor the heart condition of patients on the new TB treatment drug, Bedaquiline.
“The side effects that happen in a small number of patients is that patients have heart arrythmias, meaning that their heart doesn’t beat very well. There is something we can do about that, so what’s important about the ECG machines is when they start the treatment, we do an ECG just to check how their heart is beating. And then we check on a monthly basis, just to make sure and monitor that this drug is not affecting their heart. And if it is, then we can intervene early.”