Mr Aborah Mohammed, Disease Control Officer at Birim North Health Directorate, has advised the public not to treat tuberculosis as a joke because it is present and widespread.
He went on to say that communities across the country needed to take the issue seriously and stop pretending it didn’t exist.
According to him, once the signs and symptoms are identified, those experiencing them must seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid the spread of the disease and death.
Mr Aborah Mohammed went on to say that in 2020, they recorded 54 cases, in 2021 (74) and in 2022, 124 cases have been recorded in Birim North District, and a lot of men are affected, with at least one or two cases in each town.
“There are those who would dismiss this warning. They’d say we’re bothering their ears. That is not the case; we are simply raising awareness. When you look at the trend over the last three years, you’ll notice that the number keeps rising year after year. The data also revealed that men are infected at a higher rate than women, and at least one person is infected in each town,” he said.
He emphasised the importance of the general public being aware of the signs and symptoms of tuberculosis.
Feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats are all common symptoms of tuberculosis.
Coughing, chest pain, and blood coughing are also symptoms of TB disease of the lungs, he said.
“TB is very common. According to the data, 110 men were infected in 2022, while only 12 women were infected. Men do not seek early treatment either. They would rather treat the disease themselves by purchasing drugs to treat the symptoms. This is why the disease is spreading. If you include those who do not report to the hospital, the total could exceed 300. In terms of age, 93 of the infected people were between the ages of 44 and above, with 31 cases being between the ages of 44 and below.”
World TB Day is observed annually on 24 March to raise awareness about TB and efforts to end the global epidemic, marking the day in 1882 when the bacterium causing TB was discovered.
The theme of World TB Day 2023 – Yes! We can end TB! – aims to inspire hope and encourage high-level leadership, increased investments, faster uptake of new WHO recommendations, adoption of innovations, accelerated action and multisectoral collaboration to combat the TB epidemic.