Home | News | “Know Your Lung Campaign” launched to fight TB

“Know Your Lung Campaign” launched to fight TB

By Lydia Kukua Asamoah/Grace Princess Tarwo, GNA

Accra, Jan. 23, GNA - A National Tuberculosis Campaign, aimed at increasing knowledge and awareness on TB symptoms and lung health, has been launched in Accra to help prevent the annual TB deaths of close to 9,700 people.   

The nationwide campaign, dubbed: “Know your Lungs” is being championed by the Aurum Institute Ghana, an affiliate of the Aurum Institute NPC South Africa, a Non-Governmental Organisation, to help fill the gap of correct information needed to change the mindset of Ghanaians about TB.

Ehunabobrim Pra Agyensaim VI, King of Assin Owierenkyi Traditional Area in the Central Region, who is also the National TB Ambassador, hosted the launching, of which he would be the Icon.

The campaign, being implemented as part of the TB REACH Wave Six grant implementation, is in collaborating with stakeholders including the Ghana Health Service, Afro Global Alliance and the Ghana TB Voice Network.

Report says TB remains a major obstacle to attaining the Sustainable Development Goal on Health, development and prosperity for all people in Ghana.

Ghana is said to record an estimated 44,000 new cases of TB yearly, with only about 15,000 cases being diagnosed and treated, leaving 30,000 cases, which are missed and not diagnosed.

Dr Nii Nortey Hanson-Nortey, the Country Director of Aurum Institute, said the campaign was to put in place sustained messages that would help to reduce stigma associated with TB among Ghanaians.

He said it would also involve the adoption of innovative approaches in tackling the disease, which would look at the packaging of messages and interventions to appeal to more Ghanaians to be able to feel free to walk into health facilities whether in the public or private sectors to check their lung status “and know if perhaps they are carrying the bacteria that cause TB”. 

Dr Hanson-Nortey expressed concern that many people with cases of TB in the country that were missed and not diagnosed continue to live within the communities and spread the disease to uninfected people, thus maintaining the pool of undiagnosed TB cases. 

He said the campaign would, therefore, focus on the call: “It’s Time” indicating that people needed to know their TB status, know about the disease, which is curable, embrace and support persons living with TB as well as receive treatment free of charge.

Dr Emmanuel Odame, the Director in charge of Policy, Planning, Evaluation and Monitoring at the Ministry of Health, who represented the Health Minister, said TB, which had been with mankind for the past 9,000 years and causing havoc among people, needed to be tackled with such innovative programmes and strategies.

He said the Government thus support the need for innovations to increase the national notification rate and reduce the numbers of people who are missed out of the treatment.

Dr Odame said the Ministry had, over the last few years, been supporting newer funding initiatives to retool 51 district hospitals around the country with digital X-ray machines under the Dutch Government supported ORIO project.

In addition, through the Global Fund, highly sensitive Gene Xpert machines have been distributed to 126 hospitals with modification of screening algorithms to make the Gene Xpert a first line diagnostic tool for TB.

“Recently following the Ghana Patient Cost Survey and the report launch, efforts have been made to negotiate with the National Health Insurance Authority to get TB patients enrolled onto health insurance so they can benefit from health insurance coverage for associated diseases that occur during the period when they are on TB treatment,” Dr Odame said.

Nana Pra Agyensaim would, through the campaign, share TB information to all Ghanaians with his constituents of traditional leaders as custodians of value systems, cultural and societal beliefs and taboos.

The traditional rulers are believed to be able to mobilise themselves to support the drive to end TB, change stereotyping, stigma and discrimination of those affected.

Hospitals, clinics, chemical shops and pharmacies with aid from community volunteers are partners in the campaign and would be responsible for sensitising the public through durbars, football and musical events, house-to-house and door-to-door to intensify education on the disease.


Most Watched Videos

Most Read News

Best Of The Web


Recent Comments

Most Popular Posts

News - Articles
Ghana Articles News
Go Up!