One hundred and sixty-four cases of Tuberculosis were recorded in the Tema Metropolis between January and September this year, the Tema Metropolitan Health Directorate (TMHD) has said.

The Tema Metropolis is expecting 356 cases this year per its population of over 300,000, based on the globally accepted assumption that in every 100 000 population,106 people could be infected with tuberculosis, Mr. Harvey Akafu, Tema Metropolitan Health Information Officer, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Wednesday

He said the directorate recorded 89.0% successful treatment in 2012 and  93.6% in 2011.  

According to Mr Akafu, it takes from six to eight  months to complete the treatment of Tuberculosis, depending on the kind of treatment a patient is put on.  

He said most public health facilities undertake free screening, and mentioned the Tema General Hospital, the Manhean Health Centre, and the Tema Polyclinic, as the friendly destinations in Tema.

Mr Akafu said measures used to create awareness on the disease include one- on-one conversation at the Out-Patient Department (OPD) of various hospitals, and house-to-house visits by health professionals to encourage people to patronize the free screening programme, adding  “anyone who coughs for more than two weeks should come for the free screening and treatment of Tuberculosis.”

Mr. Akafu advised that handkerchiefs should be used to cover the mouth when coughing, avoid overcrowding, and washing of hands with soap always to reduce the spread of the disease..

He advised that people should come out freely to be screened in order to be treated, and also patients should complete every treatment course given by a health professional.

Tuberculosis is a communicable disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria usually mycobacterium tuberculosis. It attacks the lungs. It is spread through the air when people who have an active Tuberculosis infection cough, sneeze or otherwise transmit respiratory fluids through the air.

About one in 10 latent infections eventually progress to active disease, and can kill more than fifty per cent of those infected if left untreated.