For World TB Day 2019 (24 March 2019) the South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) team tackled the World TB Day Three Peaks Challenge which entailed ascending up Devils Peak, Platteklip Gorge and Lions Head in one day, in a bid to raise awareness about Tuberculosis.
Raising awareness about TB
SATVI launched the Three Peaks World TB Day Challenge to raise awareness about Tuberculosis, a disease which resulted in 22 000 deaths among HIV-negative South Africans in 2017 and 56 000 deaths in South Africans with both HIV and TB. The World Health Organisation estimates that world-wide, 10 million people had TB in 2018. Despite global TB incidence figures showing a decline by 2% per annum, this is not enough if we want to achieve the end TB strategy of the World Health Organisation. More needs to be done to develop better treatment, diagnostic tools, and an effective vaccine to fight the TB disease.
The first team, a small group of hard-core hikers started the assault at 7 am on Sunday 24 March 2019, reaching the turbulent, clouded peak of Devil’s Peak around 8:45. After descending down to Tafelberg Road, and reenergized by the cheering base-support group, they chased the rest of their SATVI colleagues up Platteklip Gorge, who had stared the assent around 9:30 up the arduous zig-zag haul that is the most popular trail up Table Mountain. All hikers in the combined group reached the misty top of Table Mountain by 13h00, and after a well-deserved rest, made their way back down the track again. A small group then made their way down Tafelberg Road to the base of Lion’s Head to begin the final ascent, up Lion’s Head. There was much celebration when the final hiker reached the peak and after a well-deserved drink and a confirmatory photo, they descended to join their colleagues for a well-deserved rest and a wonderful sense of achievement.
The South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative (SATVI) is a tuberculosis (TB) research group with a research scope that spans several disciplines including paediatrics, infectious diseases, epidemiology, public health, immunology, systems biology and clinical sciences. Our research focus is understanding the risk for, and protection against, M. tuberculosis infection and TB disease, to develop more effective vaccines and preventive strategies