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History of TB in South Carolina

In May of 1913, the Daughters of the Holy Cross Trinity Church of Columbia, SC gave $500 so that an anti-tuberculosis clinic could be started in Columbia. The following July, Richland County gave $1,000 to found a tuberculosis recuperation camp near Ridgewood, SC with patients occupying tents.

The Richland Anti-TB Association was incorporated in 1917, "To provide educational information as to the cause and spread of tuberculosis, to obtain and disseminate information as to preventive methods, to encourage general plans for the betterment of living conditions in the community through increased knowledge of public health information regarding tuberculosis and other respiratory illness, to cooperate with local, state and national public and voluntary health and welfare agencies, to study and encourage the use of the most modern equipment for diagnosis and/or treatment of tuberculosis and other respirator illness; and to promote and/or assist in efforts to increase screening and identification of cases of tuberculosis and other respiratory illnesses." (Taken from the RTBA Articles of Incorporation, July 1999)

That year, the RTBA assisted the city Public Health Nursing Unit in caring for 93 TB patients. The Columbia Hospital was used by the US Public Health Service as a public clinic. During 1920, the Association developed a campaign to sell Christmas Seals that generated $2,800 in funds for the organization. By 1921, there were over 1,000 members who paid dues or made contributions to help support the Association. A greater emphasis was now being placed on education and disease prevention through news articles, presentations, exhibits and clinics.

Approximately 101 TB deaths occurred in Richland County in 1923, 30% less than in 1917 largely due to the formation and support given by the RTBA.

As the scope of the Richland County Tuberculosis Association began to extend statewide, a strategic planning session was called. As a result

of this meeting, the coverage expanded to encompass all counties in the state of South Carolina. The official change from Richland County Tuberculosis Association to South Carolina Tuberculosis Association occurred in November 2012.

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