The TB Control Programme has made a remarkable success in the Central Region due to the involvement of chiefs in the programme.
Mr Charles Eshun, Regional Tuberculosis Coordinator, said this in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Charles Ampiah, Regional Biomedical Scientist, at a review of the performance of the Omanhene Project at Cape Coast, on Wednesday.
The Project was an initiative of the Ghana Society for the Prevention of Tuberculosis (GSPT), the Afro Global Alliance and some chiefs in the Central Region and is aimed at involving traditional rulers in the sensitization, control and management of the disease in the Region.
Mr Eshun said in 2006, the Region was able to improve on its cure rate of the disease from 62.8 per cent in the previous year to 74.3 per cent and the defaulter rate dropped from 19.6 per cent to 9.2 per cent.
“Presently the cure rate stands at 81.8 per cent whilst the defaulter rate is at 2.9 per cent,” the Coordinator stated.
He said case detection rate however, continued to be a source of worry to the TB Control Programme in the Region as the rate had dropped from 25 per cent to 23 per cent.
He said a measure had been put in place to involve Community and faith based organizations, traditional healers, chemical sellers and other orthodox practitioners in case detection.
Dr Nicholas Andrew de Heer, the immediate past President of GSPT, recommended to other Regions to emulate the success story of the Central Region and involve traditional rulers in the fight against communicable diseases.
He said their involvement would also reduce stigma attached to such diseases.
Dr de Heer, who is now the Chief Consultant of the GSPT, appealed to the district directors to release the Enablers Fund to set up for the control of the disease to the people engaged in its fight.
Nana Attapim Kweenu VIII, Mankrado of the Nkusukum Traditional Area, and the Chairman of the Regional Branch of GSPT said the “Omanhene Project” had been formed in 32 out of the 34 paramountcies in the Region and that plans were afoot for the inauguration in the other two branches.
Nana Kweenu who is also the chief of Woraba, near Cape Coast, said the branches had trained volunteers to help the chiefs in the campaigning for the eradication of the disease, and appealed to individuals and organizations for funds to help the volunteers.
Daasebre Kweby Ewusi VII, President of the Central Regional House of Chiefs, appealed to chiefs to take the project seriously.