Tuberculosis (TB) is said to be a silent killer in the Upper East Region. The disease has claimed 154 lives in the Bolgatanga Municipality alone, between 2006 and 2012.
The period also recorded 1,397 cases. The Bolgatanga Municipal TB and HIV Coordinator, Mr. Williams Amankwa, made these revelations on a weekly health programme on A1 Radio recently.
According to him, TB cases often went up whenever HIV cases went up, because the humane system of the affected persons also went down. For instance, he said, when the Municipality topped the rest of the regional capitals in the HIV prevalent rate in 2011, TB cases also went up to 261, with 13 deaths.
Though 2011 recorded the highest number of cases, it also recorded 13 deaths, which was the lowest number of deaths, as compared with the death toll in other years.
Other years and their cases and death tolls included 2006: 181 cases, 24 deaths; 2007: 182 cases, 17 deaths; 2008: 169 cases, 35 deaths; 2010: 248 cases, 20 deaths and 2012: 212 cases, 16 deaths.
Dr. Samuel Aborah, Head of Public Health Unit at the Regional Hospital and TB Coordinator, also revealed that the hospital recorded 625 cases between 2010 and 2012, with 16 deaths.
The two observed that TB cases were high in the region, because there was still the high incidence of stigmatisation against persons who were diagnosed of TB. They also dismissed the assertion that TB was a curse.
They said the treatment of the disease was free of charge, and urged residents to report to the hospitals when they experienced prolonged cough, weight loss, and night fever, for TB tests to be conducted.
TB kills one and a half million people worldwide, mostly in developing countries. This year’s World TB Day fell on 24th February.