Health News of 2014-07-24

High number of undetected TB cases hampering control

The high number of missed or undetected Tuberculosis (TB) cases has become a major worry to the health authorities as it fuels the spread of the disease. It is estimated that about 4,000 cases were missed and this Dr Joseph Oduro, Deputy Ashanti Regional Health Director (Public Health), said should be enough to trigger alarm bells.

He warned that each undetected case could lead to the infection of between 10 and15 persons yearly. Dr Oduro therefore called for renewed action by all stakeholders to fight the disease.

He was addressing the quarterly interaction, held by the regional health directorate with the media, to highlight and to give an update on some of the health challenges and strategies being implemented to address them. The event was part of activities to commemorate “World Stop TB Day” in the region.

This year’s celebration is under the theme “Reaching the missed TB cases: the untold story of Ghanaian TB patients”. Dr Oduro expressed worry that some patients still persisted in the belief that the disease was not for the hospital and therefore there was no need to seek cure from there.

The myth and the continued misconceptions people have about the disease, he noted, was the main challenge to its control. “These negative dispositions often result in delayed health seeking, as well as stigmatization of people infected.”

He said that often resulted in concealment of status, fear and shame, which were unhelpful to the promotion of treatment behaviours. He referred to instances where some TB patients are detained in prayer camps and other herbal clinics while others suffered silently and painfully for a condition, which was curable.

The government, he said would continue to expand health care infrastructure, including the construction of Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds to increase access to TB care.

Dr Oduro saluted health workers and volunteers, who were working hard to reduce the pain and suffering of those infected by the disease.

Source: GNA
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