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22.12.2004 Health

NTCP probing high infection of TB among men

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Tema, Dec. 22, GNA - The National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTCP) of the Korle Bu hospital in Accra is researching into the high incidence of reported cases of tuberculosis among men as against women. Available statistics indicate that in the year 2003, 7,556 men reported the disease as against 4,316 women.
Madam Margaret Rose Afriyie, Programme Officer of the NTCP said on Wednesday that though no answer had yet been found to the issue, it could be that women might be suffering from the disease but were not reporting it at the hospital for treatment.
She was speaking at a TB control programme organised by the Gender Awareness Foundation (GAF) for the Tema Manhean community in the Tema municipality.
It was aimed at creating awareness of the existence of the disease to enable the community take precautionary measures to avoid contraction.
TB is an airborne disease and is contracted through spitting, yawning, coughing and sneezing.
Madam Afriyie gave the assurance that its treatment is free at all government hospitals throughout the country and called on infected persons to go for early treatment to avoid complications. She mentioned some of the symptoms of the disease as persistent coughs for two weeks, weakness, weight loss, no appetite, chills, and profuse sweating at night.
Madam Afriyie said due to the delicate nature of the disease only hospitals are allowed to dispense its drugs and therefore warned pharmacy shops not to dispense TB drugs to the public. She mentioned some of the drugs as Streptomycin, Ritampicin, Uniacetazone, Entambntol and Isonizid.
Mrs Dinah Heymann-Adu, President of the Gender Awareness Foundation, said the programme would be extended to educate larger communities in Ashaiman, Tema Community one, Kpone, Prampram, Dodowa, Ningo, Doryumu, Nungua and Teshie.
She asked beneficiaries of the educational programme to spread the message to others and strictly observe personal and environmental hygiene to ensure reduction of the disease.

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