Non Governmental Organisations in Health, Aurum institute Ghana and its partner the TB Voice Network, on Saturday spearheaded a Tuberculosis outreach tournament dabbed the “Kick Tuberculosis Gala” in slum communities in the Ashanti region.
It forms part of community driven activations aimed at finding cases of tuberculosis in high risk communities where education about the disease is low.
In the maiden edition which came off at Asawase in the Asokore Mampong Municipality, Peer Educators branded TB detectors moved into the community for TB advocacy and free TB screening and Counseling.
Medical directors, Opinion leaders and the community members gather to play a tournament to enforce the message about symptoms of T.B. and the need for early reporting of symptoms of concern to hospitals.
The Acting Kumasi Metropolitan Health Director Dr. Gyima Omari Sasu took the first kick for the Kick TB Gala which saw four teams from Aboabo number 1 and 2 as well as Akorem and Aboabo Extension competing.
National programs coordinator for the Kick TB Gala Jerry Amogh Larbi pointed out that the intervention has become necessary as stats show that every year 40 thousand people living with infectious TB do not visit the hospital.
He explained, “We are lagging behind our targets of detection by 30 thousand every year for the past five years and this should translate to some 200 thousand people with T.B. undetected so we had to come to these slum communities where they are most vulnerable. Once you are diagnosed we refer you for treatment and also enrol you for free on the National Health Insurance Scheme,”
The programs manager of Aurum Institute Ghana, Jabina Anaman noted that a major leg of the program is to robe in private health facilities to begin offering TB services as exists in public facilities.
“The government hospitals already have a program where the diagnosis and treatment of TB is free and it’s the same thing we want the private health facilities to also do. So we are training and empowering them to also start diagnosing TB because we realize that they are playing a major role in Ghana’s health sector,” she outlined.
Mrs Anaman told reporter Ivan Heathcote – Fumador that they are targeting Pharmacies and Chemical Shops where several people report coughs and only purchase cough syrups with little concern about the possibility of the presence of Tuberculosis,
Acting Metro health director of Kumasi, Dr Gyimah Omari Sasu expressed need for more of such outreaches as she admitted case detection is still alarmingly low.
“TB is an infectious disease of public health importance and it’s a curable disease and if you have TB you can get treatment. If you don’t get the treatment, you can die from it, or spread the infection around you or even develop a certain strain which is also difficult to manage,” she stated.
The Kick TB gala is also expected to be replicated in other communities in Bantama, Manhyia north, Manhyia south and Subin with an aim to find 40 thousand TB patients to be put on treatment.
By:Ghana/Ultimatefmonline.com/106.9FM/Ivan Heathcote – Fumador