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22.07.2005 Health

TB, Bilharzia on the increase in Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa


Breman Kokoso (C/R), July 22, GNA - A total of 48 cases of tuberculosis had been recorded by the middle of the year at the Breman Asikuma Roman Catholic Hospital.

Mr Paul Kweku Twum, Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa District TB Coordinator of the Ghana Health Service, announced this at a de-worming exercise for about 1000 school children from Breman Kokoso Roman Catholic and Methodist Primary and Junior Secondary Schools in the last phase of the programme at Kokoso.

He said last year, the hospital recorded 77 cases, adding that, the figure would have been higher if all the people with the worms had reported to health institutions.

The exercise was sponsored by the Philomena Gaisie Foundation of Netherlands, which had spent more than 26 million cedis in the phases of exercise since it begun.

Mr Twum stressed that 48 cases recorded in the first six months of this year could have been higher had it not been for the lukewarm attitude of the people towards the exercise, which was free of charge. He urged TB patients to discard the notion that the disease meant the end of their life since the early treatment could avert death. Mr Twum asked Chiefs, Assembly and Unit Committee Members to help health personnel to educate the public on the need to report cases early to the health centres.

He noted that bilharzias cases were also on the increase and identified the most endemic areas as Odoben, Nankase and Tweredua all in the district.

Mr Twum stated that the most affected were school children who had their bath in rivers and streams and urged parents to seek early treatment for their children because it could lead to impotence. He asked teachers to educate their pupils and students on the dangers of bilharzias and to advise them to desist from swimming in rivers. Mr Patrick Kyeremeh, District Disease Control Officer, announced that an intensive public education on buruli ulcer would be launched soon and asked the people to report "strange" sores early.

He said early treatment would prevent the effect of the disease on the victims since the Ghana Health Service was prepared to curb the spread of the disease.

Ms Phyllis Nyakoh, Assemblywoman for Breman Kokoso, said about 4,000 people in the town had been de-wormed. She praised the Foundation for sponsoring the exercise.