Survey says tuberculosis prevalence in Ghana is high

Accra, March 25, GNA – A tuberculosis (TB) prevalence survey conducted in 2014 has revealed that TB burden in Ghana is three times higher than the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates.

Prior to the survey, WHO estimates showed that TB cases in Ghana were below 92 per every 100,000 people but the survey across the country showed that there were 286 cases per every 100,000 people in Ghana.

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 World TB Day in Accra, Dr Frank Bonsu of the National TB Control Programme said the results showed that there were more undetected cases than previously estimated.

The theme for the year’s celebration is ‘Treat, Cure Everyone: The Changing Phase of Ghana’s TB Epidemic’.

According to Dr Bonsu, the high prevalence of TB was coupled with the synergistic relationship with HIV and AIDS, doubling the burden on the population suffering from the disease.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2011 there were approximately 20,000 new TB cases diagnosed in the country but only 78 per cent were treated.

In Ghana, TB mortality rate is considered high at 7.5 per every 1,000 infected and the prevalence is 264 per 100,000 in general population.

Tuberculosis is a communicable disease caused by a bacterium which mostly attacks the lungs and other organs of the body.

The disease is transmitted from a sick patient to another through coughing, singing and sneezing and its major symptoms are coughs, which last for more than two weeks, loss of weight, tiredness, night sweats, chest pain and cough with blood stained sputum.

He expressed concern about the increasing high levels of Multi- Drug Resistant as well as the lack of diagnostic capabilities.

Dr Bonsu called on stakeholders to help NTP with financial and logistical support to intensify efforts in achieving the post 2015 goals.

A WHO Consultant, Chief Austin Arinze Obiefuna, called on government and other development Partners support the fight with money and technical support and urged government to exhibit serious political commitment in the fight.

He expressed the commitment of civil society organisations in partnering all relevant bodies and the NTP to ensure that the data yielded from the monitoring exercises improve policy guidance and implementation of strategies.


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