Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization, each day, over 4100 people lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Data available on the website of Stop TB Partnership shows that in 2020, among the estimated 44,000 people who developed TB in Ghana, 6,600 were children.
Each year, World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is commemorated on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB pandemic. The theme of World TB Day 2022 was ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives’.
Hope for Future Generations, a member of the Stop TB Partnership joined the national commemoration of World TB Day held at the Ministry of Health Conference Room on the 24th of March, 2022. The event was well attended by stakeholders within the health sector. The Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations, Mrs Cecelia Senoo, serving as the Chairperson for the event noted that though Ghana has been doing a lot in its TB response, it is time for the country to step up efforts to bridge the funding gap of 40 million USD.
Mrs Senoo called for gender transformative programming in TB responses in line with the new strategy by the Global Fund to fight TB, HIV and Malaria.
Dr Yaw Adusi-Poku, Programme Manager of the National TB Control Programme said the global theme calls for more efforts from stakeholders to help eradicate TB. He advocated for investment for more resources into newer and effective diagnostics, medicines, vaccines, and tools to combat tuberculosis.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, disclosed that the Service had signed a performance contract with its Regional Directors to roll out strategic interventions to find the missing TB cases nationwide.
Alhaji Sei Seini, the Deputy Minister for Health, said government in partnership with Global Fund will ensure adequate support will be given to the TB programme. He entreated all health workers and TB professionals to continue the good work they have been doing to help end TB in Ghana.
As part of activities to mark World TB Day 2022, HFFG also joined TB partners in Ghana to brief the Parliamentary select committee on health to advocate for legislative support and investment to end TB. HFFG in partnership with STOP TB Partnership (Geneva), National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP), Ghana Health Service and One Impact have secured a grant from STOP TB Partnership/UNOPS to implement a one-year Project (TBImpact – Ghana). This project is aimed at capacitating affected communities to lead the designing, implementation and monitoring of TB interventions, as well as promoting accessible, equitable and quality TB services in Greater Accra, Central and Volta Regions of Ghana.