The National Tuberculosis Control Board under the Ghana Health Service, has expressed worry about the high prevalence rate of tuberculosis infections in the country, caused by the failure of people to report the condition due to stigmatization.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease usually caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
It generally affects the lungs, but can also affect other parts of the body.
The acting programmes Manager of the National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Dr. Nii Nortey Hanson in an interview with Citi News, said the Board is facing challenges in detecting infected people due to stigmatization.
“People do not come to the health centers to be diagnosed. Anybody who is diagnosed tries to hide. The family shuns them. The burden of disease is very high.The prevalence of disease in Ghana is as high as about having 77,000 people in Ghana with the disease.This is epidemiologically estimated at about 290 out of every 100,000 Ghanaians and that is a very high state of the disease.”
Parliament fights Tuberculosis
Parliament, in a bid to fight Tuberculosis, approved a 13,11,601.45 Euro buyer-credit agreement between the government and ABN AMRO N.V Bank of the Netherlands, to finance the “Accelerating Tuberculosis (TB) Case Detection” project in the country.
It also approved a waiver of import duty and other levies totaling GH¢2,496,670 on materials and equipment to be used for the project.
The approval followed the presentation of the report of the Finance Committee of Parliament on the agreement, by the Chairman of the Committee, James Avedzi.
Mr Avedzi said the project was primarily aimed at boosting the diagnostic capacity of the public-health system by distributing digital radiographic systems.
Efforts not enough
Despite the intervention by Parliament, Dr. Hanson revealed that Ghana has still not been able to totally curb the spread of the disease because various health institutions are unable to detect the disease in its early stages.
“Our efforts are just scratching the surface of the problem, and we have not been able to tackle the problem. As many cases as we find, we have enough medicines to treat and cover them so medicines are not a problem. It is finding the cases and treating them. Our major problem is how to find the cases.”
By: Marian Ansah/citifmonline.com/Ghana