In 2018, THINK was awarded funding from the USAID TB Local Organization Network (LON) to implement the Safeguarding Advances in the Fight Against TB (SAFT) programme in two provinces in South Africa, KwaZulu Natal and Eastern Cape. SAFT is built on a hybrid implementation model, incorporating direct service delivery, technical assistance and capacity building to improve the TB health care cascade.
The programme was expanded in 2020, and again in October 2021 to Amajuba and uThukela districts in KwaZulu-Natal and Joe Gqabi district in Eastern Cape. At the same time, the programme transitioned out of eThekwini and OR Tambo districts due to revised priorities by The Department of Health. In Eastern Cape, interventions are implemented by THINK’s appointed sub-recipient MatCH.
Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the TB health care cascade ranging from prevention, diagnosis, and patients linked to treatment, threatening to undo years of achievements in TB prevention and care. To mitigate this impact, THINK is supporting a Recovery Plan introduced in March 2021 by the Department of Health.
Apart from finding new TB patients and initiating patient treatment, the project primarily focused on improving the quality of TB services; this included audits, capacity building and the development of tools and job aids.
To increase finding people who have TB, THINK uses mobile Computer-Aided Detection (CAD) X-Ray uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyse X-Ray images for the presence of TB.