Tema Records 164 TB Cases

A total of 164 cases of tuberculosis were recorded in the Tema metropolis between January and September, this year, the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate (TMHD), has said.

With this figure, the metropolis is expecting about 356 cases this year per its population of over 300,000, based on the globally accepted assumption that in every 100 000 population,106 people could be infected with the disease,  Mr. Harvey Akafu, Tema Metro-politan Health Information Officer, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Wednesday.

He said the directorate recorded 89 per cent successful treatment of the disease in 2012 and  93.6 per cent  in 2011.

“It takes six to eight months to complete the treatment of Tuber-culosis, depending on the kind of (TB) treatment a patient is put on, Mr. Akafu said.

He said most public health facilities undertook free screening for TB and mentioned the Tema General Hospital, the Manhean Health Centre, and the Tema Polyclinic, as the friendly destinations in Tema.

Mr. Akafu said a number of measures, including one-on-one conversation at the out-patient department at various hospitals, and house-to-house visits by health professionals to encourage people to patronise the free screening programme, were some measures being used to create awareness about the disease, adding,  “anyone who coughs for more than two weeks should go for the free screening and treatment of tuberculosis,” he advised.

He asked people  to cover their mouth with  handkerchiefs when coughing, avoid overcrowding, and wash their hands with soap always to reduce the spread of the disease.

Mr. Akafu urged the public to patronise the free screening for TB in order to be treated early if found to be infected, and asked patients to endeavour to  complete the treatment course given by the  health professional.

Tuberculosis is a communicable disease caused by various strains of micobacteria, usually mycobacterium tuberculosis. It attacks the lungs and spreads through the air when the persons with active tuberculosis infection coughs, sneezes or otherwise transmits respiratory fluids in to the air.

About one in every 10 latent infections eventually progresses to active disease, and can kill more than 50 per cent of those infected if left untreated. —GNA


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