Ghana joins the world to commemorate World TB Day, a day set aside to
raise public awareness about TB, highlight the suffering TB continues to exert on people while mobilizing political and social commitment for further progress.
TB is an infectious disease that continues to inflict devastating consequences on the lives of many people around the world. WHO reports that each day, over 4100 people lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease.
According to the National TB Control Programme 2020 Annual Report, currently in Ghana, 44,000 new cases, 15,000 TB-related deaths, 870 drug-resistant TB cases are reported per year. Despite recent global efforts to reduce the burden of TB, the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated impact has reversed efforts made towards the “End TB by 2035” goal.
This year’s theme: ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives’ is a call to action for TB especially given the current focus of attention on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aurum Institute Ghana has since 2019 collaborated closely with the National TB and AIDS Control Programmes in mitigating the burden of TB in Ghana. Through the Unitaid funded IMPAACT4TB project, Aurum Institute Ghana has played a leading role in the prevention of TB and the adoption of a shorter course preventive therapy called 3HP. “The availability of 3HP in Ghana is great news in the response to TB infection control. This convenient short course TPT compliments the efforts of government and results in greater compliance to treatment” said Dr Kwame Essah, the Country Director of Aurum Institute Ghana.
Ghana’s roadmap to attaining Universal Health Coverage 2020-2030 recognises TB services as a basic essential preventive service. The new push as acknowledged in the 2018 UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting, places TB prevention as a key strategy to arrest the problem of TB burden early, this has led to a resurgence in the fight against TB. Aurum Institute Ghana commits to a positive investment to save lives and end TB through its flagship program in TPT implementation and other key programs in TB control.
We, therefore, appeal to the government, donors, and other institutions to increase financial commitments towards ongoing efforts to combat TB and TB-related cases in the country.
There is also a need to redouble our efforts as organisations, institutions, and governments to curtail missed opportunities for early diagnosis and treatment through proactive investments in all areas of The Aurum Institute Ghana
TB management. TB should still be a priority for early detection and treatment, especially at the primary healthcare level, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the Aurum Institute Ghana:
Aurum Institute Ghana is an African Public Benefit Organization whose mission is to improve the health of people and communities living in poverty through innovation in global health research, systems, and delivery. The Aurum Institute Ghana operates in Ghana as a local Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) registered under Companies Code of 1963, Act 179, and licensed by the Social Welfare Department.
It is an affiliate of Aurum Institute South Africa which is a not-for-profit company and a leading healthcare organization. It is rooted in Africa and is dedicated to researching, supporting, and implementing innovative, integrated approaches to global health.
In Ghana, it is collaborating with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in research, programme
implementation, and capacity building. www.auruminstitute.org