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Health News of Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Source: GNA

Ghana should declare TB as a national security threat - Mr Gidisu

Accra , March 23, GNA - Tuberculosis (TB) must be declared a national security threat, Mr Wisdom Gidisu, Chairman, Parliamentary select Committee on Health said on Tuesday. He said if this was done TB would be given the attention it deserved by all Ghanaians in fighting it. Mr Gidisu also called on Parliament to fast-track the bill on smoking in public places, to protect the citizenry from the health challenges associated with the habit.

Mr Gidisu was delivering a statement to commemorate the World TB day which falls on March 24 every year. The theme for this year celebration is: "On the move against Tuberculosis, innovate to accelerate action." He said the theme called for fast move with new innovations in the fight against TB.

Mr Gidisu said the Ghana Health Service (GHS) had put in many interventions to fight TB, adding that Ghana at the moment had about 1,057 treatment centres across the country and 274 diagnostic centres. He noted that TB treatment had been reduced from eight months to six months with community based care being implemented to improve access to medical care.

Mr Gidisu said the world was threatened with multi Drug Resistant TB. "What happens if multi-drug resistant TB affects our teachers, drivers, nurses, politicians, pastors, bankers among others who interact daily with other people?"

He said it had been discovered that millions of people around the world suffer from treatable respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia which had been neglected in public discourse. It is for this reason he said 2010 was set aside as the year of the lung.

Commenting on the statement Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, Member of Parliament for Manhyia said TB patients must strictly follow treatment to avoid the condition of TB drug resistant. He called on the government to make resources available in fighting TB. Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka, Member for Asawase said TB must be taken seriously because anybody could be at risk. He called on GHS to embark on massive education for Ghanaians to be well informed about TB.