The national “Know Your Lungs” Campaign is an innovative TB and lung health awareness creation drive to increase the knowledge of Ghanaians in TB symptoms and lung health.
Launched this week in Accra, the campaign is aimed at creating the awareness that TB is curable and that people should get diagnosed on time.
This is because statistics have indicated that a total of 29,880 people miss diagnosis annually.
This campaign will be led by the National TB Ambasssador, Ehunabobrim Prah Agyensaim VI, King of Assin Owirenkyi Traditional Area.
The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu in a speech read on his behalf said the ministry had over the years supported innovations to increase the national notification rate to reduce these numbers.
He said the ministry over the years had supported newer funding initiatives to re-tool 51 district hospitals around the country with digital X-ray machines and distributed highly sensitive Gene Xpert machines to 126 hospitals with modified screening algorithms to make the Gene Xpert a first line diagnostic tool for TB.
He added that efforts had been made to get patients enrol onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
“Following the report from the Ghana Patients Costs Survey efforts had been made to negotiate with the National Health Insurance Authority to enrol patients so they can benefit from health insurance coverage for associated diseases that occur when they are on the TB period.”
Mr Agyemang Manu pledged the ministry’s support to the campaign saying “it is time to take action on ending the epidemic in the country.”
The campaign would be led by the National Ambassador, Ehunabobrim Prah Agyensaim VI, chief of Assin Owirenkyi Traditional area.
Nana Prah Agyensaim VI said the campaign was to reduce the high levels of TB stigmatisation and increase the awareness in the country.
He said through the campaign more people were expected to get diagnosed because the infection was curable when noticed on time.
The Country Director of Autrum Institute, organisers of the programme, Dr Nii Nortey Hanson-Nortey, noted that report from the National TB Patients Cost Survey estimated that an amount of US$455 was required to treat the canker from the development stage to the completing stage stressing that the average monthly income for a household was US$215.
This, he indicated was alarming and imperative to increase knowledge and initiate systems for early diagnosis as it was critical to win the fight against TB.
The Country Representative of the World Health Organisation, Dr Owen Kaluwa, commended Nana Prah Ayensaim and Autrim Institute for the initiative stressing that WHO was pleased to be part of the campaign.