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Health News of Sunday, 25 July 2010

Source: GNA

Information officers tasked to educate the public on TB

Bolgatanga, July 25, GNA - The Ghana Health Service has tasked officers of the Information Services Department to embark on public health education on Tuberculosis (TB) to help curb the disease which is spreading rapidly in some communities.

Dr Koku Awoonor-Williams, Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, made the call in Bolgatanga when he met with information officers from the nine districts in the region.

The meeting was to sensitize the officers to undertake massive public education on TB to get more people who are infected to report to health facilities for treatment.

Dr Awoonor-Williams indicated that the region recorded 500 cases of TB every year which was far below the target and said a region with a population of about 100,000 should have been recording more than that.

He said the reason was that majority of people were living with the disease and were either ignorant of it or because of the stigma attached to it they refused to report for treatment.

Dr Awoonor-Williams urged the information officers to embark on vigorous educational campaigns on the disease at the community levels especially in the remote areas.

Mr Samuel Angyogdem, Regional TB Coordinator, who took the participants through the causes, symptoms and signs of the disease, entreated them to educate the communities especially on the symptoms and causes of the disease which is curable.

He said a person with TB could within a year infect up to 15 people and noted that this should not be allowed to happen since it was curable.

He stressed the need for stakeholders including traditional authorities, politicians and opinion leaders to get actively involved in the campaign and encourage people with the disease to go for treatment.

Mr Nelson Mba, Regional Information officer, tasked his staff to be dedicated and execute their job properly by going to every community in their respective areas to propagate the message.

He entreated them to use strategies like film shows, talks and drama to educate the people.

He said as information officers, it was one of their roles to educate the public on government policies and programmes which included health issues and added that this was very important to national development.

Mr Mba said if they were able to do effective campaigning, it would help reduce the disease and thereby reduce the huge sums of money used by government to treat it.