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Health News of Saturday, 5 July 2014

Source: GNA

TB detection slows down in Brong-Ahafo

The detection rate of Tuberculosis (TB) in the Brong-Ahafo Region has slowed down this year, Mr Emmanuel Obeng Hinneh, Regional TB/HIV Coordinator has said.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting on utilization of rapid diagnostic test for Malaria at Abesim near Sunyani, Mr Hinneh said by statistics, 264 cases of TB were detected in the region from January to March this year, as compared to 385 last year. He said although there had been a decline of 44 percent, the Regional Directorate of Health has adopted strategies to significantly improve detection rate by the end of the year.

The programme which was organised by Hope For Future Generations (HFFG), a Non-Governmental Organisaton which works to improve Education, Health and Socio-Economic Status of Children and Women, was attended by civil society groups and NGOs, representatives from Municipal and District Assemblies, and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

Mr Hinneh disclosed that last year the Directorate detected 1,474 cases of TB, mentioning the introduction of community-based TB care, TB death audits, TB/HIV collaboration, nutritional assessment and counseling, as well as acquisition of Gene Xpert Machine, as some strategies put in place to increase detection.

He noted that though the successful treatment of TB in the region was quite encouraging, there was the need for all and sundry to help not only in the detection, but also put patients on medication.

Dr Kofi Issah, Deputy Director Public Health at the Brong-Ahafo Regional Directorate of the GHS, observed that implementation and sustainability had always been the bane of many health sector initiatives in the country.

He reiterated the need to build a mechanism that would ensure that district health systems and communities had ownership in all health projects being implemented in local communities.

Dr Issah explained that the push towards the Millennium Development Goal Six of reducing the disease burden of Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS, needed more evidence-based and sustainable strategies to be realized.

He gave the assurance that the GHS would continue to collaborate with all stakeholders, including Civil Society Organisations and NGOs, to meet its set objectives in the medium-term health plan of 2014-2018.

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