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24.03.2009 Health

Tema metropolis records 310 TB cases in 2008


Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate recorded 310 Tuberculosis (TB) cases at the five public health facilities in the metropolis in 2008.

Out of the figure, 291 voluntarily tested for HIV with 102 representing 33 per cent testing positive.

Mrs Katharine Kwao, Tema Metropolitan TB Coordinator disclosed this to Ghana News Agency in an interview in Tema on World TB Day.

World TB Day is celebrated on March 24 annually to create public awareness on the disease and encourage people to seek early treatment.

The theme for this year's celebration is “I am stopping TB.”

She said the metropolis had 77 per cent cure rate last year as against the national target of 80 per cent noting that the metropolis had a target cure rate of 85 per cent this year.

Mrs Kwao said the directorate also recorded a case detection rate of 34 per cent as against the national target of 70 per cent for 2008.

However, she said the year saw an increase in the defaulter rate from one per cent in 2007 to two per cent and the directorate intended to achieve zero per cent defaulter rate this year.

She attributed the increase in the defaulter rate to relocation of patients outside the metropolis due to fear of stigmatisation after testing positive for HIV.

Mrs Kwao said to achieve the defaulter rate target, health officials traced defaulters to their new locations and administered the free six months treatment to them.

She urged TB patients to seek free treatment from the public and accredited private health facilities in the metropolis and advised them not to abandon their treatment for fear of stigmatization.

Mrs Kwao gave the assurance that health officials handling their cases would not disclose their HIV status to the public or relatives as it was against their professional ethics.

She said the directorate organised two durbars at Tema Community One Site Two and 19 a fortnight ago to prepare the public for the World TB Day celebration and to encourage people to report prolonged coughs to the health facilities.

Mrs Kwao advised people to seek treatment since TB was curable and preventable and treatment was free adding “people should not sit down with the excuse of having no money for treatment.”