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23 March 2023 Media Release: We Can Beat It


A frail yet friendly Danwill Stefaan (29) shares his journey with tuberculosis (TB). He is thin and needs assistance to walk. One of the first things he says after sitting down is: ‘You should have seen what I looked like when I came here.’ Photos of him a month ago shows a seriously ill man, unable to walk or talk.

Danwill Stefaan

‘There is always hope. I am living proof,’ he said. Danwill is from Borcherds in George and came to Harry Comay Hospital in a very bad state after contracting TB of the brain. He is one of 1 393 patients on TB treatment in the Garden Route district.

“I was tired all the time and coughed for about three weeks. The ambulance came to pick me up and I was referred to Harry Comay Hospital,” he said. He takes his medication every day as prescribed and says he is lucky not to have too many side-effects from the medication.

Another story of bravery and determination is that of Linzay de Vos (31) who is from Hillside in Beaufort West. She has also been at Harry Comay Hospital for little over a month. “It has been a difficult journey, being away from my three children, but I do this for them and myself. I want to get better and return to them as a healthy mother,” she said.

Her symptoms included fatigue, sweating at night and coughing. “I thought it was TB and went to my local clinic. After tests we found it was multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB and I was referred here.”

Linzay is very thin but says she has picked up 3 kg since starting her treatment. She is also part of a group that walks and does exercise in the fresh air.

We talk about her treatment plan, and the topic of pills always come up as treatment might include a lot of pills, some that might have side-effects.

“It is your responsibility and your health – even if you struggle with the pills, there is a way to manage that,” she said.

These are two of many successes of patients that have successfully completed their TB treatment. Although not always easy, it is possible. We are proud of you!

“TB is treatable, and we can stop it if everyone tests early and starts and completes treatment”, said Dr Lindè Marais from Harry Comay Hospital.

As we commemorate World TB Day on 24 March we salute those who are currently fighting for recovery, those that protect others by opening windows and covering their coughs and sneezes and those who want better health for themselves and their communities by going for TB testing.


  • Anyone can get TB.
  • You can get free TB testing at your nearest clinic.
  • TB treatment is free from clinics.
  • Take your TB treatment as prescribed by your health worker.
  • Protect others by covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, open windows and let sunlight come through your house.
  • Soon after you start your treatment you are not an infectious risk to your family and friends.

Feature Image: Linzay de Vos