Prioritise production of tuberculosis vaccine just as you did for COVID-19 vaccine – Awalime

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Sat, 26 Mar 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ghana marks World TB Day

NGO calls for investment to end TB, save lives

Ghana currently has 30,668 missing cases of tuberculosis

Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at the Aurum Institute, Dziedzom Awalime, has asked that the subject of tuberculosis be prioritised as it was in the case of COVID-19 to help in early diagnosis and early treatment.

According to him, TB deserves the same level of attention and prioritization that COVID-19 is getting, noting that TB has been long existent and is killing people as lack of education in germane heightens.

“In the 18th month of COVID-19, a whopping 100 million dollars has been made available for the development of vaccines for Covid, but the development of vaccines for TB has been on the table for years,” he said.

Mr. Awalime noted that testing and treatment for tuberculosis is free and of no cost to the client which is a major financial responsibility.

He, therefore, called on government and benevolent organisations to act on the theme for this year’s celebration of World TB Day; ‘Invest to end TB. Save lives’, to make enough funds available for the testing, education, preventive therapy, and treatment of the infection.

“We are making a push for more donations and more funding,” he added.

Meanwhile, commenting on how funds are generated to foot the expenses of the TB department, Medical Superintendent at the Shai Osudoku Hospital, Dr. Brightson noted that, “we use internally generated funds to sort out TB expenses with assistance from benevolent organisations, that is how we had a partnership with Aurum Institute”.

According to him, the unavailability of enough funds from the government and benevolent societies has left cases of TB unattended. He noted that the World Health Organisation, 2021 estimated 44,000 TB cases with Ghana able to diagnose 13,332 actual cases constituting 30% of the estimated figure with 70% “missing cases”.

He, therefore, asked government to assist in finding the “missing cases”.

“The number of cases we were to diagnose as a country in 2021 is 44,000 but were not able to do up to a quarter of that. The effort in finding missing cases in Ghana is such a huge problem we’ve not really found a solution to,” he noted.

The institute went ahead to donate 3000 pieces of sputum containers to the hospital to smoothen the process of sample taking and testing of potential patients.

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com