Medical Officer seeks public support to fight TB

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Takoradi, Oct.2, GNA – The Western Regional Public Health Unit (PHU) of Ghana Health Service, on Tuesday called on the public to report suspected signs of tuberculosis (TB) for treatment to avert the spread of the disease.

     Dr Kwaku Karikari, Deputy Regional Director in charge of the Unit said in a media encounter in Takoradi that treatment of TB is free, hence the need for public support to eradicate it.

     He said People Living with HIV and AIDS, malnourishment, smokers, alcoholics and drug abusers are persons who are at high risk of contracting the disease.

     Dr Karikari listed some of the symptoms of TB as fever often in the night, loss of appetite, weight loss, and night sweats.

     He said the disease may cause coughing, blood stained sputum, chest pains and shortness of breath and may spread from person to person through the air.

     Dr Karikari said 90 per cent of those infected with TB do not show any symptoms.

     He said without treatment the mortality rate is high and advised people not to send patients to prayer camps for divine healing.

     The PHU has taken steps to reduce the mortality and morbidity rate due to TB, until it no longer poses a threat to public health as well as the prevention of drug resistance.

     Dr Karikari appealed to the media to help target victims saying:  “In Ghana, it is estimated that for every 100,000 population, for every year 90 new smear positive active cases and 302 cases of all forms of TB emerge.”

     In March the world observed TB Day to create awareness about the disease, while in Ghana it helped create the grounds for working with stakeholders in order to ensure maximum coverage.

    The theme was “stop TB in your lifetime”.

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