Philanjalo, a local NGO based at Tugela Ferry, was established in 1998 to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS in this resource poor area by
providing home-based care, voluntary counseling and testing and the management of opportunistic infections in the years before the launch
of the South African anti-retroviral (ARV ) program. This was done hand in hand with the Department of Health to provide a continuum of care for patients from
hospital to home.
A partnership between Philanjalo, Yale University and University of KwaZulu-Natal was formed in 2002 to provide ARV treatment to patients co-infected with
HIV and TB using the existing infrastructure of the Directly Observed Treatment, Short course (DOTS ) program. It was during this project that XDR TB was found
to be a major cause of death among HIV /TB co-infected patients. An international collaboration of partners developed rapidly to jointly address the challenges of
drug-resistant TB in order to understand the complexities of the epidemiology, faster diagnosis, treatment, control and programmatic management of this serious
TF CARES (The Tugela Ferry Care and Research Collaboration) emerged formally to coordinate these efforts, involving a partnership between Philanjalo, Yale
University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. TF CARES has worked closely with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health and
the Italian Cooperation since 2006 to devise strategies and programs to combat the drug-resistant TB epidemic in KwaZulu-Natal.