To provide healthcare to poor and needy persons afflicted with diseases of poverty (Tuberculosis, HIV and pneumonia), and to provide primary healthcare education about diseases of poverty (Tuberculosis, HIV and pneumonia).

These will be achieved by:
  • The education of people about diseases of poverty (TB, HIV and pneumonia), including the facilitating the dissemination by those people of their knowledge, within their communities.
  • Assisting, where possible, patients with treatment failure drug-resistant tuberculosis who have been discharged from hospitals with minor modifications to living conditions to reduce the risk of transmission of the disease to others living in close proximity.
  • The establishment of a hospice-type (palliative) care facility for treatment-failure drug-resistant TB patients who have been discharged from hospital and whose home situation is such that there is a high risk of TB transmission to others living in the same home.
  • Supporting and advocating for improved housing and the subsidisation of healthy food by Government as part of efforts to reduce the transmission of TB

    We also assist with extended drug sensitivity testing for destitute drug-resistant TB patients, in order to aid in the development of a salvage regimen.
    We also assist in TB diagnosis by purchasing urine LAM (Lipoarabinomannan) strips for use in hospitalised patients.
  • Donate

    Free of TB is an NGO aimed at raising funds to fight the epidemic in South Africa.
    We would appreciate any donations.
    Our tax exempt number is PBO registration no:930049193, which means your donations are tax deductible.
    Upon receipt of a donation the necessary documentation will be forwarded to the donor.

    SA Statistics

    Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global health problem. It causes ill-health among millions of people each year and ranks alongside the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as a leading cause of death worldwide. In 2014, there were an estimated 9.6 million new TB cases: 5.4 million among men, 3.2 million among women and 1.0 million among children. There were also 1.5 million TB deaths (1.1 million among HIV-negative people and 0.4 million among HIV-positive people), of which approximately 890 000 were men, 480 000 were women and 140 000 were children. The number of TB deaths is unacceptably high: with a timely diagnosis and correct treatment, almost all people with TB can be cured.

    The incidence of TB for 2014 was 450 0000, of those cases, the following statistics can be drawn:

    TB mortality


    HIV-positive TB mortality


    TB prevalence


    HIV positive TB incident cases


    Drug resistant TB

    Drug-resistant TB poses a major threat to control of TB worldwide. By the end of 2014, data on anti-TB drug resistance were available for 153 countries, accounting for more than 95% of the world’s population and estimated TB cases. Eighty of these countries have continuous surveillance systems, while the others rely on epidemiological surveys.
    Globally, an estimated 3.3% (95% CI: 2.2–4.4%) of new cases and 20% (95%CI: 14–27%) of previously treated cases have MDR-TB; these levels have remained virtually unchanged in recent years. In 2014, there were an estimated 480 000 (range: 360 000–600 000) new cases of MDR-TB worldwide, and approximately 190 000 (range: 120 000–260 000) deaths from MDR-TB. Among patients with pulmonary TB who were notified in 2014, an estimated 300 000 (range: 220 000–370 000) had MDR-TB.
    XDR-TB, defined as MDR-TB plus resistance to at least one fluoroquinolone and a second-line injectable, had been reported by 105 countries globally by the end of 2014. Extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) has been reported by 105 countries. On average, an estimated 9.7% (95% CI: 7.4–12%) of people with MDR-TB have XDR-TB.



    Global control of tuberculosis: from extensively drug-resistant to untreatable tuberculosis.

    Dheda K, Gumbo T, Gandhi NR, Murray M, Theron G, Udwadia Z, Migliori GB, Warren R. Lancet Respir Med. 2014 Apr;2(4):321-38. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(14)70031-1. Epub 2014 Mar 24. Review


    Outcomes, infectiousness, and transmission dynamics of patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis and home-discharged patients with programmatically incurable tuberculosis: a prospective cohort study.

    Dheda K, Limberis JD, Pietersen E, Phelan J, Esmail A, Lesosky M, Fennelly KP, Te Riele J, Mastrapa B, Streicher EM, Dolby T, Abdallah AM, Ben-Rached F, Simpson J, Smith L, Gumbo T, van Helden P, Sirgel FA, McNerney R, Theron G, Pain A, Clark TG, Warren RM. Lancet Respir Med. 2017 Jan 18. pii: S2213-2600(16)30433-7. doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(16)30433-7. [Epub ahead of print]


    Long-term outcomes of patients with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis in South Africa: a cohort study.

    Pietersen E, Ignatius E, Streicher EM, Mastrapa B, Padanilam X, Pooran A, Badri M, Lesosky M, van Helden P, Sirgel FA, Warren R, Dheda K. Lancet. 2014 Apr 5;383(9924):1230-9. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62675-6. Epub 2014 Jan 17.


    Feasibility, accuracy, and clinical effect of point-of-care Xpert MTB/RIF testing for tuberculosis in primary-care settings in Africa: a multicentre, randomised, controlled trial.

    Theron G, Zijenah L, Chanda D, Clowes P, Rachow A, Lesosky M, Bara W, Mungofa S, Pai M, Hoelscher M, Dowdy D, Pym A, Mwaba P, Mason P, Peter J, Dheda K; TB-NEAT team.. Lancet. 2014 Feb 1;383(9915):424-35. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62073-5. Epub 2013 Oct 28.


    Effect on mortality of point-of-care, urine-based lipoarabinomannan testing to guide tuberculosis treatment initiation in HIV-positive hospital inpatients: a pragmatic, parallel-group, multicountry, open-label, randomised controlled trial.

    Peter JG, Zijenah LS, Chanda D, Clowes P, Lesosky M, Gina P, Mehta N, Calligaro G, Lombard CJ, Kadzirange G, Bandason T, Chansa A, Liusha N, Mangu C, Mtafya B, Msila H, Rachow A, Hoelscher M, Mwaba P, Theron G, Dheda K. Lancet. 2016 Mar 19;387(10024):1187-97. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)01092-2. Epub 2016 Mar 10


    The global rise of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis: is the time to bring back sanatoria now overdue?

    Dheda K, Migliori GB. Lancet. 2012 Feb 25;379(9817):773-5. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61062-3. Epub 2011 Oct 25. No abstract available



    Dheda K, Barry CE 3rd, Maartens G. Lancet. 2016 Mar 19;387(10024):1211-26. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)00151-8. Epub 2015 Sep 13. Review. Erratum in: Lancet. 2016 Mar 19;387(10024):1162. Lancet. 2016 May 21;387(10033):2092. Lancet. 2016 Mar 19;387(10024):1162.


    Multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis: a threat to global control of tuberculosis.

    Gandhi NR, Nunn P, Dheda K, Schaaf HS, Zignol M, van Soolingen D, Jensen P, Bayona J. Lancet. 2010 May 22;375(9728):1830-43. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60410-2.


    Get the World Health Organisation's 2015 Report on TB.

    Get the Estimated Epidemiological burden of TB in 2015.

    The Team

    Prof Keertan Dheda

    Director & Founder

    Free of TB is headed by Prof Keertan Dheda [MBBcH (Wits), FCP (SA), FCCP, PhD (Lond), FRCP (Lond)], who is Professor of Respiratory Medicine, Director of the Lung Infection and Immunity Unit (LIIU), Head of the Division of Pulmonology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town and adjunct member of the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Molecular Medicine at UCT, and Visiting Professor at UCL. He has been the recipient of several prestigious awards including the 2014 Oppenheimer Award, the 2014 NSTF BHP-Billiton Research award, the 2013 MRC Scientific Achievement Award (Gold), and the 2010 International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Scientific Award. He holds or has held several multi-national grants as the principal investigator including those from the EU, EDCTP and the NIH. He has published over 190 peer-reviewed papers including 4 first or senior author publications in The Lancet (see key publications above). He holds 3 patents related to new TB diagnostic or infection control technologies, one of which is currently being developed as a user-friendly test for extra-pulmonary tuberculosis.

    Dr Julian Te Riele


    Family Physician at Brooklyn Chest Hospital,
    Clinical Manager,
    Metro TB Hospital Complex University of Cape Town



    MILLION TB cases


    MILLION male TB cases


    MILLION female TB cases


    MILLION children TB cases

    Contact Us

    Dr Julian Te Riele Julian.teRiele@westerncape.gov.za
    Keertan Dheda (founder) +27 21 404 7654 keertan.dheda@uct.ac.za

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    Contact Details

    • Address: Free Of TB NPC, University of Cape Town Lung Institute, George Street, Mowbray, 7700
    • NPC registration no: 2014/143828/08
    • NGO registration no: 147-233 NPO
    • PBO registration no: 930049193
    • Email: info@freeoftb.com