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14.06.2007 General News

Make Environment Safe For Kids — Dr Bonsu

The Programme Manager of the National Tuberculosis Control Programme, Dr Frank Bonsu, has asked adults to make the environment safe for children to protect them from being infected with tuberculosis (T.B.).

He said, for instance, when children were exposed to an environment with a lot of dust and smoke, it weakened their immune system and, therefore, made them prone to TB.

Dr Bonsu, who was speaking in an interview with the Junior Graphic, also asked parents not to allow their children to share rooms with adults who were infected with T.B. since that would open them up to the disease.

"Children under six years should be sent to hospital for screening if they stay near an adult who coughs for more than three weeks or is infected with tuberculosis."

Dr Bonsu, who was explaining how the disease affected children, said usually it was adults who infected children with the disease since children were immune to it when they were born.

He said it was difficult to diagnose T.B. in children because it has similar symptoms with other diseases and, therefore, asked parents to send their children to the hospital whenever they were sick.

He mentioned some of the symptoms of the disease in children as restlessness, fever, loss of weight, a poor sleeping habit, frequent bowels and, or a cough.

Tuberculosis is an infectious disease caused by a small germ (micro-organism) known as mycobacterium tuberculosis.

It can affect all parts of the body, but most people suffer from TB affecting the lungs, and this is the most infectious form of the disease, which is spread from person to person.

The TB germ is commonly spread from an affected person to an unaffected person through coughing, sneezing and spitting in front of others.

Story by Augustina Tawiah