TB HIV Care, the National Department of Health and Table Mountain National Park, joined Stop TB Partnership’s global initiative to “Light up the World for TB” by lighting Table Mountain red on Saturday evening, 24 March.
This year 60 landmarks in 44 cities in 21 countries around the world were lit up to demonstrate a commitment towards ending TB. We were extremely proud to add Table Mountain to that list.
The event caught the imagination of many TB advocates, activists and champions – all the way up to the President of South Africa, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa. Unfortunately, the president was unable to make the event as planned (he was delayed in meetings), but we were honoured to welcome Dr Aaron Motsoaledi (who read an address from the president) as well as Dr Yogan Pillay (Deputy Director-General at the Department of Health), Dr Linda-Gail Bekker (Deputy Director of the DTHC) who gave a powerful address, and guests from Unitaid.
But, as Dr Motsoaledi recognised, the real VIP guests on the night were the children and staff of the Brooklyn Chest Hospital. Their presence reminded us that, in the words of President Ramaphosa, “the symbolism of lighting up landmarks around the world must extend beyond honoring those who have died from TB, to a commitment to ending TB by 2030 or sooner”.
Unfortunately we couldn’t do anything about the weather (and as Capetonians we are grateful for any rain!) and the overall effect was a little more subtle than hoped because of the cloud and mist. But it was a special night – one we will remember for a long time!
TB HIV Care was lucky enough to receive live coverage on eNCA as well as additional reporting on eNCA.com, News24.com, Eyewitness News and Cape Talk.
To read more about our contribution to the campaign, have a look at Stop TB Partnership’s latest newsletter.