Ghana: Tuberculosis Becoming Serious Health Hazard in Ghana

Photo: MSF
A patient takes her daily regimen for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (file photo).

The Head of Chest Unit at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH), Dr Jane Afriyie-Mensah, has said (TB) cases were becoming a serious health hazard in the country.

She indicated that the KBTH for instance, had on daily basis recorded between thirty to forty cases of patients suffering from communicable diseases, including TB, although the figure were somehow low in the past.

"It is a disease of public health concern because it is contagious and easily transmitted from patient to patient through the environment, as one infected person coughs or sings, the bacteria is also released and another person could inhale it and become infected.

The World Health Organisation or global statistics actually characterise Ghana as a TB endemic country," she said.

Dr Afriyie-Mensah disclosed this yesterday, at the commissioning of the renovated Department of Chest Diseases Building of KBTH in Accra.

The renovation works were sponsored by Kab-Fam Ghana Limited, a leading Ghanaian owned electronic company, as part of its corporate social responsibility.

The company also donated a 50 inch flat screen television to the Out-Patients-Department of the facility.

Dr Afriyie-Mensah said, over 90 per cent of TB cases affected the lungs and was common in many environments in Ghana.

She mentioned that people living in slums and overcrowded communities as well as homes with poor ventilation were the most commonly endemic areas.

Dr Afriyie-Mensah indicated people living with weak immune system could also be easily infected as well as those with low socio-economic status.

She said, although treatment for the disease was funded by the World Health Organisation, there should be massive education and awareness programmes to enlighten the public about the disease.

She called on individual and benevolent organisations to come to the aid of the department to augment better healthcare services.

The Director of Operations at Kab-Fam Ghana Limited, Mrs Joyclyn Antwi-Baohen pledged the company's commitment to transforming the facility.

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