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23.10.2008 Health

Expert calls for sustained TB control strategy

By gna

Mr Simon Adoboe, National Programme Officer of the Tuberculosis (TB) Control programme on Wednesday called for sustained methods in the management of the disease as was being done in the case of HIV/AIDS.

He said there were proven scientific findings of correlation between TB and HIV/AIDS that required equal multifaceted and timely approaches from stakeholders towards stemming the scourge unleashed by the two diseases.

Mr Adoboe was addressing the maiden sensitization workshop for Volta Region Chiefs on the fight against TB and HIV/AIDS, organized by the Gbi Traditional Council under the auspices of the Volta Regional House of Chiefs on the theme: "Join the Fight Against TB and HIV/AIDS.”

It was sponsored by the National TB Control Programme of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and about 250 chiefs and queens from the Hohoe Municipality were attending.

Mr Adoboe said a research undertaken in 2005 indicated that 77 percent of 100 cases of TB tested at the Somanya TB Centre proved positive to HIV, hence confirming the correlation between the two diseases.

He estimated that more than 52,000 people are infected with the disease annually.

Mr Adoboe reiterated that TB was curable through accessible and humane treatment regimes.

Mr Daniel Affun, Hohoe Municipal Disease Control Officer, said the Municipality recorded case identification rate of 26 percent in 2006, 13 percent in 2007 and within the third quarter of 2008 recorded a rate of 32.3 percent against the national benchmarks of 31 identification rates, cure rate of 68 percent and treatment success of 71 percent.

He said the curative rate stood at between 85-90 percent with health facilities recording 64 cases within the third quarter of 2008.

Mr Affun attributed the success to cash incentive packages being rolled out by the Global Fund for TB control, describing as untrue that excessive alcohol intake and smoking of cigarettes could mitigate the disease.

Togbega Gabusu VI, Paramount Chief of Gbi Traditional Area, said he organised the workshop as his social responsibility to the fight against TB and HIV/AIDS, both of which were associated with misinformation, myths and socio-cultural misinterpretations.

He said the practice of sharing the same calabash or glass in the performance of tradition could be a receptacle for the spread of the disease, hence the awareness to sensitize chiefs.

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