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The Center of Awareness has observed the celebration of this year’s World Tuberculosis (TB) Day with a call on the public to help find persons living with TB but not yet diagnosed.
The celebration which came off at the University of Cape Coast Science Quadrangle attracted a large number of the lecturers, students and other residents of the university community.
Speaking on the theme ‘It’s Time…Finding the people living with TB’, a TB Consultant and Referral Clinician of the Central Regional Hospital, Dr. Elizabeth Tabitha Botwe, stated that TB was easy to cure, but fatal to ignore.
The need to find people living with the disease, she said, was very crucial as the nation is currently detecting about 15,000 TB cases out of the estimated number of 44,000 TB cases expected to be detected annually, an indication that 29,000 TB cases were undiagnosed.
“TB is such a formidable enemy that we should be armed with the necessary information, knowledge and skill to combat it anywhere,” she added.
She pointed out that people must deem it very urgent to seek medical advice in a bid to detect early and treat all unidentified TB cases and ensure that no one died of TB.
According to her, the latest report of the Lancet Commission on TB recognised that Ghana’s failure to implement adequate TB prevention strategies was one of the key reasons the nation had not made enough progress against the disease.
Dr. Botwe, said the government was enrolling all TB patients on treatment for free on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to ensure that all patients got comprehensive care and treated for other morbidities to reduce deaths.
Dr. Botwe mentioned that the health ministry and its partners were poised to implement a TB preventive treatment for vulnerable people starting from persons at high risk like Person Living with HIV and AIDS.
She stated that indoor and outdoor pollution, asthma, smoking, pneumonia among others affects lung health and breathing and urged the public to go for TB tests at any health facility.
The Dean of Physical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Dr. David Kofi Essuman, commended the Center of Awareness for sponsoring this year’s TB Day celebration with the university’s community and asked that more of such programmes be organized. He lauded the Center for sponsoring a TB prevention research to specifically address the TB epidemic.
A senior lecturer of the Department of Biochemistry of the university, Dr. Caleb Mawuli Agbale said tuberculosis, also known as TB, is a disease caused by a type of bacteria called Mycobacterium tuberculosis and is also the world’s top infectious killer disease that claims 4,500 lives a day.
He revealed that his department and the Center are currently conducting a research with COA FS on tuberculosis.
The world TB day is celebrated each year across the globe on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB and encourage all nations to step up efforts in ending the disease.
The event was proudly sponsored by Center of Awareness and chaired by the Dean of Biological Sciences, Prof. Justice Sarfo. Also present were the Administrator of the Center, Dr. Richard Nsiah-Agyeman and other senior staff members.
BY REV. FR. JOOJO GYEPI-GARBRAH