As part of efforts to empower school children in the Western Region against tuberculosis (TB), KICK TB Ghana has started vigorous awareness creation about the disease in some schools in the region.
KICK TB Ghana is an organisation which is into education and awareness creation of TB among school children through the use of football.
Children are innocent victims of the TB epidemic; they have to deal with the disease as well as the stigma associated with it.
They do not know how TB spreads, diagnosed and treated and what to do to reduce the burden of TB.
To this end, KICK TB Ghana in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service and the Ghana Education Service is poised to build the capacity of school children in the Tarkwa Nsuaem municipality and the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis against TB.
The initiative is on the theme ‘Enhancing The Vision of TB Elimination: I am stopping TB In My Life Time; Every Breath Counts’.
Samuel Morkli Akoto, Western regional project manager of KIKC TB Ghana, explained that TB is a chronic disease caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis and that although it could attack any part of the body, the lung is the commonest organ affected.
He noted that the overall goal of KIKC TB Ghana campaign seeks to raise awareness of TB by using football and social mobilisation to create a platform through which appropriate TB messages are conveyed.
‘Due to the enormous popularity and potential of football as an attention grabber, football is used by KICK TB campaign to convey TB information and messages amongst the target group,’ he added.
Mr Akoto mentioned that among the aims of the project is to achieve 50 percent increase in knowledge of TB and acceptable behaviour towards the disease among school children and their parents.
It is also to screen 100 percent of target school children, refer all suspects for diagnosis, provide treatment for TB positive cases and use the children to promote cough etiquette.
‘It is also to increase in the number of school children with the capacity to fight TB, prevention of the spread of TB and HIV among school children and in communities as well as increase in the number of people with acceptable behaviour towards TB,’ he added.
Mr Akoto indicated apart from the use of the popularity of football among school children, the project would also use community information centres to educate the community members about TB.
He mentioned some of the symptoms of common form of TB as fever, cough, low appetite and weight loss which overlap with the symptoms of many other common infections in children.
George Kluborto, a member of the KICK TB Ghana in the region disclosed that TB cases were higher in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem area and attributed it partly to the predominant illegal mining activities in the area.
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