Groote Schuur Hospital gets new facility to fight TB

The Western Cape has the highest tuberculosis prevalence rate in the world.

A view of the pet-CT scanner at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The establishment of a new medical diagnostic facility at Groote Schuur Hospital is set to drastically improve the study and treatment of tuberculosis.

On Thursday, a pet-CT scanner was unveiled at the hospital. According to clinicians, computed tomography is an imaging method that combines the body’s metabolic information with the morphological data obtained by the CT scan.

The Western Cape has the highest tuberculosis prevalence rate in the world.

But with the rollout of the new pet-CT facility, which is jointly run by the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, it's hoped TB treatment will be vastly improved.

UCT medicine department head Ntobeko Ntusi said: “We’ll see how we can use this to better understand disease and tuberculosis.”

Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo highlighted the importance of collaboration.

“Partnership is about sharing skills, expertise and resources, as well the risks.”

Funding to establish, the scanner was donated by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Technology Innovation Agency, Aspen Holdings and UCT.