WHO maintains that the difficulty in MDR-TB case finding and management pose a threat to the gains the country has made in addressing TB.


“Therefore, a lot of focus and emphasis should be placed on improving TB diagnosis through the use of Gene Xpert and quality assured bacteriology, improving quality of clinical care and providing the necessary patients support. Clearly, we all as stakeholders need to intensify our efforts in addressing collectively the serious public health problem of drug resistant TB,” the Organisation stated.

These among other issues were raised last week at the launch of World Tuberculosis Day in Accra. It was on the theme, “Unite to End TB.”

Speaking at the event, a representative of WHO, Dr Owen Kaluwa, noted that the TB burden in Africa was largely fuelled by poverty. Poor people living with HIV, he said, were more likely than others to become sick with TB and Africa has the highest TB-HIV co-infection in the world.

Dr Kaluwa, however, noted due to efforts stakeholders in TB control in the Africa Region were making, the situation was not a hopeless one. He indicated the efforts have led to a decline in TB cases, an indication of an improvement in the treatment success rate. He said death rate and number of people who failed to complete their TB treatment continued to decline for many countries.

In the case of Ghana, Mr Kaluwa stated: “It is gratifying to note here in Ghana also; tuberculosis control generally has progressed, with cure rates for new smear positive cases above the recommended WHO level of 85%. The Ghana National TB programme again made progress in maintaining patients on treatment with defaulting rate less than WHO targets of 5% since 2010.”

For such impressive successes chalked so far, he said, “I would like to commend the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and all stakeholders in the fight against TB in the country.

On his part, the Minster for Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, said a research undertaken recently recognised Ghana as an important high TB/HIV burden country. But fortunately, a national response plan is available to address the challenge.

Mr segbefia emphasised the need for all to rally around the plan and work towards achieving the set of goals of ending the TB epidemic.

He appealed to the corporate world to support TB control activities at the community level to complement government’s efforts at expanding health care delivery systems through the CHPS compounds, adding that “together we will achieve a stronger and healthier workforce that will lead to increase productivity.”

Source: Public Agenda
By Mohammed Suleman


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