Dr Frank Adae Bonsu and Sherry Ayitey at the event.

Four thousand Tuberculosis (TB) cases are missed or under detected in Ghana, Sherry Ayittey, Minister of Health, has stated.

Speaking at the commemoration of the World TB Day in Accra on the theme, ?Reaching the Missed TB cases, the Untold Story of the Ghanaian TB Patient?, Ms Ayittey stated that three million TB cases were missed globally, while Ghana had been unable to reach 4,000 TB patients for treatment.

The figure, she said, was alarming due to the fact that each undetected case could affect 10 to 15 persons every year and therefore called for the examination of the reasons why cases were missed.

?We need to examine critically why historically cases are missed leading to unnecessary pain, suffering and death,? she observed.

The sector minister encouraged the public to seek early medical attention and the free treatment of the disease when they begin to show signs of the disease.

?If people infected with TB are detected early, the trend of TB in Ghana can be reversed,? she noted.

She also called on the public to shun from discriminating against people with TB as it could result in delayed health seeking.

Furthermore, she said government was developing a national strategic plan to enable the country to reach its TB elimination target by 2035.

She said, ?Government has acquired a digital mobile x-ray van to screen the population on TB. Again, 17 of the vans will be brought in and these vans will go to rural areas where free screening can be done for the communities.?

Ms Ayittey in addition called on all to join hands to reach out to the missed TB cases.

Dr Frank Adae Bonsu, National TB Programme Manager, giving his address said although the disease burden was high, the trend showed that the TB epidemic could be halted and reversed.

?In 2013, 346 more TB cases (15,533) were recorded as compared to total cases notified for 2012. Total cases reported for children are 773,? he said.

He said the prevalence of Tuberculosis (TB) in the country had increased to more than twice the estimated World Health Organisation?s (WHO) value for all ages in Ghana.

?The overall TB prevalence for adults stands at 300 per every 100,000 population, a figure representing more than twice the number of 92 per 100,000 WHO estimate in 2013,? he said.

Dr Bonsu observed that the implication calls more resources to be harnessed in the area of treatment, care and control of the disease in the country.

The infection, based on the analysis of 50 percent of WHO and Ghana Health Service (GHS) data collected across the country indicated an increase in the prevalence rate in the male population as compared to that of the female population.

In males, there are 409 per 100,000 as compared to 228 per 100,000 in females. Also, the highest TB prevalence was found out to be between the ages 65 to 74 years with the least being among the age 25 to 34 years.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

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