Ghana joins the rest of the world on March 24 in commemorating the 2022 World TB Day celebration.
TB is a disease caused by germs that spread from person to person through the air. It usually affects the lungs but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys, or the spine.
Symptoms include coughing for two weeks or more, sweating at night, fever and chills, chest pains, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss and fever.
World TB Day, which falls on March 24 every year seeks to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic.
This year’s celebration is on the theme “Invest to End TB. Save Lives”.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) report, TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious killers.
It is estimated that each day, about 4,010 people lose their lives to TB across the world and 28,000 get infected as estimated by WHO.
In 2021, Ghana recorded an estimated 44,000 new cases, out of this 13,332 were the actual cases on treatment, and 30,668 cases were missing. An estimated 4,400 children got infected with 645 on treatment and about 12,000 people died undiagnosed.
Dr Adwoa Asante Poku, a Senior Research Fellow at Noguchi Memorial Institute, University of Ghana, told the Press in an interview that World TB day is, therefore, a significant occasion for all health workers, partners, researchers, the TB community and all governments who contribute their resources to the fight against TB.
She said the 2022 theme is, conveys the need for world leaders to understand that without adequate financial resources, the fight against TB could not be won and reverse the severe impact of COVID-19.
The disruptions caused by the pandemic have led to decreased number of people diagnosed and treated for TB, and dangerously affected the rights of people with TB, the Researcher said.
Dr Poku said TB is curable and therefore cautioned that any person coughing for any duration with one or more TB symptoms should report to the nearest health facility.
“We should try to avoid overcrowded rooms and ensure proper ventilation. TB patients should be encouraged to complete treatment rather than being ostracized,” she stated.
This date was set aside in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).
Since then, Ghana together with the rest of the world have been celebrating World TB Day annually to create the needed awareness in solidarity of persons who have been affected, survived, and even lost their lives to the disease.