Expand TB immunization for children


Kumasi, March 24, GNA – The Ashanti Regional Chapter of the Pediatrics Society of Ghana (PSG) has called for a more expansive neonatal immunization against the air-borne Tuberculosis (TB) disease as part of measures to help protect children from contracting it.    

A statement signed by Dr Anthony Enimil, its President, as part of the World TB day celebration on Tuesday and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi, also proposed other childhood TB preventive measures, as early identification and treatment of adult TB cases, adherence to good cough etiquette, good room ventilation and avoidance of overcrowding.

Children by reason of their weak immune system are at risk of catching the infection from infected adults easily and this can have dire consequences on their mental and physical development.

The statement said though all babies born at health facilities are given the BCG immunization – an anti TB vaccine at birth, those born outside health facilities may be missed.

It said five per cent, representing 773 of the 15,333 TB cases recorded nationwide in 2013 were children, and this number represented only reported cases as data from national prevalence study suggests a higher number.

  ‘We therefore call for more intensified efforts to bring the number down to the barest minimum to ensure growth of our future workforce,’ it added,     

The statement assured the public that TB is still curable and treatment is still free even with the re-emerging CASH and CARRY system and said symptoms included continuous coughs for more than two weeks, unexplained weight loss, fevers and drenching night sweats.

‘Reach, Treat and Cure everyone, Stop TB’ is the theme for this year’s celebration.

GNA


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