Ashanti leads in tuberculosis cases in Ghana

Health authorities are reporting increasing rate of tuberculosis in the Ashanti Region, and officials blame it on misconception among even highly educated people.

Three thousand, three hundred and eighty-seven (3,387) people were diagnosed of the infection last year, 346 more than reported cases in 2012.

This makes it the region with the highest recorded cases in Ghana followed by Greater Accra for the year under review.

About 4,000 cases are feared to have escaped health authorities because infected persons resorted to prayer camps and other unorthodox facilities for treatment.

Of more concern is the fact that more female patients are missed, compared to male with the ratio, two–is-to-one (2:1).

Regional Deputy Director of Health, Dr. Joseph Oduro, fears the high infection rate poses a danger to the public.

According to him, one patient can pass the disease on to between 10 and 15 people in a crowded environment.

Dr. Oduro says the tendency for people to impute spirituality to the disease poses a major challenge to efforts at its eradication.

He is therefore worried patients die slowly and painfully for a disease that is curable and treatment is free.

Regional Director of Health, Dr. Alexis Nang-Baifudah, revealed the health directorate is revising its strategies by involving religious and other groups in public education.

Meanwhile, 10 to 15 percent of TB patients are what is called asymptomatic, which means they do not show symptoms.

Health authorities are therefore entreating the public to diagnose quickly especially persons coughing for more than two weeks.