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Press Release, World TB Day 2017

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World TB Day 2017

STATEMENT BY NATIONAL TB AMBASSADOR,

EHUNABOBRIM PRAH AGYENSAIM VI,

PARAMOUNT CHIEF OF ASSIN OWIRENKYI TRADITIONAL AREA

ON THE OCCASION OF PRE-WORLD TB DAY 2017 PRESS BRIEFING

 

Director-General, Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare

Programme Manager, Dr Frank Adae Bonsu

Staff of d Ghana Health Service

Members of the Media

Distinguished Invited Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

I deem it a great honour to be asked to Chair this Meet the Press Event to disseminate information about the national response against TB being led by the National TB Control Programme.

As National TB Ambassador, I have been very much interested in what I can do to increase the profile of this stigmatized and neglected disease so I have been in close contact with the NTP to discuss all the interventions and activities they are undertaking.

it is still very sad that we maintain very strange names of the disease and high levels of stigma associated with the disease. But I am happy to know that there are several friendly interventions that are undertaking to prioritize the TB patient for the very best of care and happily in spite of all the economic challenges of the country TB treatment still remains free. In Ghana, no one pays to be tested or treated for TB. All the cost is borne by government so its free everywhere you go around the country.

 When people know everything about the disease they would no longer fear it and they would be willing to help everyone who they know is diagnosed with the disease. They would help people who are presenting symptoms of the disease to visit a health facility to be diagnosed and to receive treatment. This for me is the purpose of my mission – to make Ghanaians more accepting of TB patients and to help find as many people with TB disease and to treat them successfully.

So as National TB Ambassador, I am working with the NTP to create a lot of awareness of the disease all around the country. We have spent this first year planning our strategies and we would be rolling out various innovative ways to send out culturally acceptable and listener friendly TB messages to educate Ghanaians and to reduce the fear associated with the disease.

I am therefore calling on the media to partner with us to make this possible. We are coming out with documentaries, jingles, songs and messages for all the media outlets to tell the ordinary Ghanaian about tuberculosis disease, symptoms related to the disease such as cough, unintended weight loss and sweating profusely at night.

During the coming year we plan to go round the country to give people the opportunity to know about the state of their lungs and also whether they have any sign of TB germs in their lungs.

As the Programme Manager has mentioned, we are planning a lot of innovative activities to diagnose TB early, simpler and to treat the patients better.  Please join us make life better for all our brothers, sisters and relations who have been afflicted by this disease. Its all about our people so we must reach out to them. We also cannot ignore vulnerable populations in rural areas, farming communities, urban slums, mining communities, factories, schools, prisons and everywhere large numbers of people congregate.

I continue to urge corporate Ghana to come on board to support the efforts of the National Programme so that together we can support this country’s drive towards ending TB before the target year of 2035 as set in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global END TB Strategic Plan.

Let’s all come on board to make the targets achievable.

Thank you

Let us all UNITE TO END TB IN GHANA

 

 

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