Programme Manager for the National TB Control Programme, Dr Yaw Adusi-Poku, says Tuberculosis is not hereditary nor a spiritual affliction and that it can affect anyone though curable.
He said research had shown that a lot of Ghanaians had the TB germ within them and might never show signs of the disease because the germ could be inactive within people for years.
Speaking at a press briefing held to mark the World TB Day, Dr Adusi-Poku said every Ghanaian was at risk of getting infected with Tuberculosis.
“TB infection is spread through droplets from an infected person to an uninfected person, so as long as we continue to live and breathe in a high burdened country such as Ghana we are all at risk,” he said.
The Programme Manager urged persons who were coughing with symptoms such as chest pain, fever and difficulty in breathing to report to a health facility.
The World TB Day is observed on March 24th each year to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
Globally, response actions towards the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year has resulted in the diversion of health resources and the workforce away from providing essential services such as the necessary lifesaving diagnosis, medicine and care to people suffering from TB.
Although global attention is now dominated by COVID-19, Tuberculosis remains formidable in Sub-Saharan Africa with Ghana being no exception.
According to the WHO, nearly 4000 lose their lives each year to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.
Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, in a speech read for him, said the theme for this year’s World TB day, “The Clock is Ticking “is a reminder to all stakeholders that Ghana was running out of time to act on its commitments to end TB.
The Director General said as a policy, all TB patients were enrolled on the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for free and received living support to reduce catastrophic cost.