The National TB Control Programme has been urged by Ms Sandra Asomaning, the Tuberculosis (TB) Programme Coordinator for the Ada East District Health Directorate, to take the possibility of educating traditional healers in taking such patients into consideration.
It is necessary to educate these people because, according to Ms. Asomaning, prayer camp facilities and traditional healers are where the majority of TB cases are discovered.
She went on to say that after receiving the necessary training, traditional healers might assist medical facilities in making sure that such patients receive and adhere to their treatment until completion.
In order to assess the district's health care delivery after the first half of this year, she made the appeal during the Health Directorate's mid-year performance assessment.
Regarding TB efforts in the district from January to June 2023, she said a 40-person yearly target had been set, which equated to 20 for the interim period.
She added that the five-year trend of TB cases indicated for the half-years was 10 in 2019, eight in 2020, and 12 in 2021, while 2022 and 2023 both documented 15 TB cases. She said that out of this, 15 instances were recorded, representing 75%.
She said that in order to guarantee early disease detection, screening begins at the point of entry, which is the outpatient department, and contact tracing is then conducted.
Out of a total of 23,069 people, 2,096 were found to have upper respiratory tract infections, according to Ms. Asomaning. Of those with illnesses, 1,354 representing 5.9 percent were chosen, and from there, 138 people were presumed to represent 10.1 percent and were designated for testing.
In fact, 136 out of the 138 suspected cases were tested, and 15 of them tested positive, she claimed, adding that all of the cases were treated.
According to the TB Programme Coordinator, a 12-month period was utilised to account for those who were treated because it was thought that by then, they may have finished their treatment.
Accordingly, she stated that for 2022, out of the 15 cases reported for the first half, nine were cured and two were finished, giving the district's TB treatment a success rate of 73.3 percent.
She went on to say that patients are also tested for HIV before beginning TB treatment and that three of the TB patients tested positive for HIV and were consequently started on anti-retroviral therapy (ART).
She said that 85 contacts of the 15 positive patients were identified in order to identify any more cases, and that 81 of those contacts were checked with no positive results recorded. She also said that all of the contacts were started on TB preventative medicine.
Concerning difficulties, she stated that their biggest issue was the district hospital's broken X-ray machine, which aided in making diagnoses, particularly for people with progressing TB who were unable to produce the sputum required for the screening.