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Miss Regina Lumoh, Principal Nursing Officer (PNO) at the Department of Chest Disease of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, has said tuberculosis is on the increase in some communities in the Ablekuma Central.
She said Abossey Okai, Sabon Zongo, Ayigbe Town, Sukura/Russia and Lartebiokorshie are areas where the cases are on the increase and advised the people in these communities to seek early treatment when they experienced long lasting coughs and pain in the chest for more than two weeks.
Miss Lumoh said the current statistics was 17 cases being reported in the first quarter (January to March) with seven females and 10 males infected while the number increased to 23 with 10 females and 13 males in the second quarter of the year 2012.
Speaking at the at the World TB Day awareness programme at Sabon Zongo, she said the symptoms of TB disease include weakness, weight loss, fever, no appetite, and sweating at night.
Other symptoms of the disease, she said, depends on where in the body the bacteria are growing adding that “if the disease is the lungs, known as pulmonary TB, the symptoms may include a bad cough pain in the chest and coughing up blood,” she explained.
The PNO explained that TB is spread through the air from one person to another through throat coughs and sneezes when they breathe in the bacteria and become infected.
Miss Lumoh advised the infected patients to take all medicine exactly as directed by the doctors adding that “you should also keep all of your clinic appointments to enable the doctors to effectively monitor you.”
She said people cannot get infected with TB bacteria through handshakes, sitting on toilet seats or sharing dishes and utensils with someone who has the disease and urged family members not to shun TB patients.
Miss Jane Amerley Oku of Janok Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation and facilitator of the event held at Zongo in the Mmmeete Electoral Area, expressed gratitude to Dr Akosua Baddoo, Specialist at the Korle Bu Chest Diseases Department and Miss Millicent Annor, Deputy Director for educating the public on the disease.