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20.03.2009 Health

Few TB patients report for treatement


Dr. Koku Awoonor-Williams, Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, has expressed concern that only few people infected with Tuberculosis (TB) in the region report to health institutions for treatment.

He said 511 of all TB cases representing only 18.1 per cent of the expected TB cases were put on treatment last year.

"It means many more people are not reporting and this is very dangerous because one active TB case in a community can infect 10 to 15 people in a year.”

Dr. Awoonor-Williams was speaking at an advocacy symposium on tuberculosis in Bolgatanga, organized for health workers, traditional leaders, community opinion leaders and representatives of NGOs working in communities in the region as part of activities preceding The National Tuberculosis Day slated for March 24.

He said the poor situation called for advocacy event to enable the health sector seek support from all stakeholders to help campaign and unearth TB cases for effective care and management.

Dr. Awoonor-Williams said despite the low number of cases reported at health institutions, treatment failures and defaulter rates were less than two per cent and five per cent respectively, a good indication of good TB control programme in the region.

"Tuberculosis is one disease condition that requires collective efforts by all of us to prevent and control.”

He appealed to the traditional and community leaders to support the prevention and control campaign of TB by encouraging suspected TB cases to seek early treatment to avoid spreading the disease.

Mr. Samuel Anyogdem, Coordinator of the TB and HIV/AIDS Programme of the Regional Health Directorate, assured the public that the health Institutions in the region had effective treatment for TB, only the patients needed to take their drugs regularly without fail.