Ghana is sitting on timebomb ready to explode with TB – NTP Boss
The Manager for the National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP), Dr Frank Adae Bonsu says Ghana is currently sitting on a timebomb ready to explode with tuberculosis silently killing many people daily yet nothing concrete is being to combat the deadly disease.
According to him, many Ghanaians are dying everyday with majority of them being women but unfortunately the sources of TB transmission for most of the cases are not even known.
He said it’s time for all and sundry to rise up in oneness and embark on rigorous awareness campaign towards total elimination of tuberculosis in Ghana.
Dr Adae Bonsu made this known at a press briefing in Accra on Wednesday March 15, to pre launch the commemoration of 2017 World TB Day which falls on March 24 , 2016.
This year’s celebration is scheduled to take place in Tarkwa in the Ashanti Region with lots of activities to raise awareness on how to curb the menace.
Tuberculosis(TB) is an infectious disease caused by a small germ known as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis which affects all parts of the body including the lungs. It is spread from affected person to unaffected person through coughing,sneezing and spitting in front of others. But the good news is, TB is curable.
The disease is known to be the single best killer of women with 3.2 million incident cases among women. It is however believed that over one million women may needlessly die from TB in Ghana this year.
But explaining to Journalists why women have been the hardest hit of the disease so far in the country, Dr Frank Bonsu Adae attributed the cause to several challenges hampering TB control in Ghana.
He referred to the issues of access delivery as major factors confronting the NTP in rendering its services. For example he mentioned lack of human resources to extend services to the communities, lack of coverage of diagnostic capacity among others.
Dr Bonsu also underscored awareness creation as a challenge the programme is faced with, calling on the media, Civil Society Groups as well as well-meaning Ghanaians to come on board and reach out to the public with messages on screening of the disease and treatment to combat the disease.
For his part, the Paramount Chief of Assin Owirenkyi Traditional Area Ehunabobrim Prah Agyensaim VI, who also doubles as the TB ambassador under the TB control programme bemoaned the high levels of stigma attached to the disease ‘even though it is treatable’. But he however, expressed happiness about the several friendly interventions including free TB testing and treatment the NTP is exploring to prioritize the TB patient for the very best of care in spite of all the economic challenges facing the country.
The TB ambassador underscored the need for awareness creation to be strengthened across the length and breadth of the country to make people know much about the disease to remove the barrier of stigma.
“When people know everything about the disease, they would no longer fear it and would be willing to help everyone who they know is diagnosed with the disease”
He disclosed he is currently working assiduously in tandem with the NTP to create a lot of awareness of the disease around the whole country. In addition, he revealed various strategies are underway this year including rolling out ‘innovative ways to send out culturally acceptable and listener friendly TB messages to educate the public to reduce the fear associated with the disease’.
He therefore called on the media to partner with the NTP to champion the cause of awareness creation on the disease in order to eliminate it.
By Joseph Kobla Wemakor/Ghananewsone.com