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Tuberculosis High In Ghana   
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Statistics indicate that cases of Tuberculosis (TB) are high in the country.

By the standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO), TB cases should be below 92 per every 100,000 people. However, a preliminary survey of cases by the West Africa AIDS Foundation (WAAF) across the country shows that there are 286 cases per every 100,000 people in Ghana.

This was made known in Accra during a project launch which was in partnership with the Stop TB Partnership programme.

What is TB
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.

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.

Project launch
To ensure that TB is eradicated from the country, the West Africa AIDS Foundation is undertaking a project dubbed “Nothing for Us Without Us (NUWU).

The project, among other things, advocates the involvement of Tuberculosis (TB) patients in matters that concern them.

It is also aimed at strengthening their voices at the continental level to improve the health and well-being of both the affected and infected.

The Chief Executive Officer of WAAF, Dr Naa Ashiley Vanderpuije, at the launch of the project in Accra, said it sought to strengthen meaningful engagement of TB infected persons and their affected communities for the desired impact.

The project, she said, would nominate TB infected and affected people onto TB platforms at the international level to advocate on their behalf.

According to Dr Vanderpuije, the project would also help to build the the capacity of members through increasing community knowledge on the disease and also advocate for universal access to TB services, including quality diagnostic and treatment resources
A WHO Consultant, Chief Austin Arinze Obiefuna, who spoke on the global fund programmes in Ghana, said the fund had moved from the passive role of stop TB partnership to a more active management; from a Global Fund defined timeline to a country defined timeline to optimise impact.

He called on the TB Partnership Programme to plan ahead, strengthen national strategies, involve key groups, consolidate and use updated information and ensure that the Country Coordinating Mechanism and Principal recipients could do the work they had been entrusted with.

The Greater Accra Regional TB Co-ordinator, Mrs Dorothy Abudey, said TB was preventable, while treatment was free in all certified public and private health institutions.
Source: Daily Graphic

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