14 July 2017

67% of TB cases undetected in Ghana – Report – Starr Fm

About 67% of TB cases in Ghana are left undetected, according to latest report on the menace in the country.

In order to stem its spread, a computer aided detection software has been deployed by Delft Imaging Systems from the Netherlands (as the technology partner) and Oldelft Benelux as the integrator.

These machines will help detect TB cases more accurately as well as increase the detection rate.

The Ghana Government has also assimilated and updated its policy for accelerated TB control. In 2013, TB in Ghana was four times as high as the WHO average. To accelerate detection, in February 2016, the Ghanaian government approved a large national eHealth project: “Acceleration of Tuberculosis Case Detection in Ghana”. The project includes the installation of X-ray systems in 52 hospitals nationwide and to set up an eHealth platform for the exchange of X-ray images, patient records and laboratory results.

The project being powered by Delft Imaging Systems and Oldelft Benelux consists of 52 X-ray systems empowered by the innovative CAD4TB software that analyses the digital X-ray images on the presence of TB in the lungs. This Computer Aided Detection software automatically selects individuals presumptive of having TB, overcoming the need for a trained specialist. In addition, all systems at the district hospitals are interlinked through teleradiology with the regional and teaching hospitals for remote diagnosis of the images when an expert opinion is required, making it the largest eHealth project in Africa.

The project was launched at the just ended 20th Union Africa Region to accelerate the implementation to eliminate Tuberculosis, HIV, Tobacco and other related NCDs in Accra.
According to the Deputy Director for clinical engineering department of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Nicholas Adjabo treatment for TB detected cases will be free for all patients.

Meanwhile, the government has pledged to end TB and lung related diseases in the country at the just ended conference.

The three-day conference aimed at providing a platform to evaluate progress towards tackling public health diseases and issues and to end TB by 2030.

The conference also targeted the reduction of TB stigmatisation in communities, advocacy for the development of more TB drugs, exploring tobacco control challenges through research, adopting innovative approaches to strengthen TB diagnostic network in Africa, innovative approaches for improved TB case detection in children and vulnerable groups, among others.

A total of 750,000 people died of TB in Africa in 2015.

In the WHO Global TB report 2016, 2.7 million cases of TB are recorded annually, 226,667 new cases every month, 2,055 die every day and 86 cases die every hour. This alarming continental problem has compelled stakeholders to find solutions to ending the menace by 2030.

President Akufo-Addo in a speech read on his behalf by minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, indicated that the country will continue to work with technical partners like the Union Africa Region, WHO and USAID to end the TB epidemic.

The president of the Union Dr Muyabala Munachitombwe-Muna advised all to take healthy lifestyle and public health seriously to prevent illnesses.

“If we don’t do anything, most Africans will die of NCDs and another word for NCDs is lifestyle related diseases, so what this conference has done, we were talking about wellness, personal wellness in controlling HIV, TB and NCDS,” he said.

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