World TB Day: HFFG calls for more investment to save lives

Around the world, 3 people lose their lives to Tuberculosis every minute. But, with urgent and increased funding, we can put an end to this preventable and curable disease.

According to the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (CCM Ghana), Ghana conducted the second national TB prevalence survey in 2013 with the estimated national TB prevalence, 290 per 100,000 population, showing that the disease burden is four times higher than WHO estimated for the same year (71 per 100,000 population). The national TB case detection rate, calculated using these new figures, is 20.7% (2013).

The Stop TB Partnership survey of TB Prevalence between 2010 to 2020 also shows that out of Ghana’s population, 44,000 were estimated to have contracted TB with 6,600 of said number being children. 14,691 TB infected person had access to treatment as at 2019 with 12,207 persons successfully treated.

In 2020, 12,674 were successfully put on treatment. Thus, Ghana records 44,000 cases of TB annually, with over 15,000 dying every year and misses two-thirds (30,000) of people with TB annually.

World TB Day is celebrated on March 24 each year to commemorate the date in 1882 when Dr. Robert Koch announced his discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacillus that causes tuberculosis (TB).

World TB Day is a day to educate the public about the impact of TB around the world. Success stories in TB prevention and control are shared across the world while raising awareness of the challenges that hinder progress towards the elimination of this devastating disease.

The theme of World TB Day 2022 - ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives’ – conveys the urgent need to invest resources to ramp up the fight against TB and achieve the commitments to end TB made by global leaders.

This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put End TB progress at risk, and to ensure equitable access to prevention and care in line with WHO’s drive towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.

Hope For Future Generations (HFFG), women and children focused national and community based non- governmental organization has been deeply involved in the fight against TB in Ghana and is one of the partners of Stop TB Partnership since 2009.

HFFG is currently working with more than 3000 PLHIV and integrates routine TB screening into PLHIV support group routine activities.

The organization has been carrying out community-based advocacy for community support for infected and affected.

It has also focused on the Childhood TB plan and integrated Childhood TB education and referral into a three-year Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Survival Project in selected regions of the country.

HFFG commends The Global Fund for the immense aid given to countries in Africa to fight against HIV, TB and Malaria.

Nancy Ansah, Programs Director at Hope For Future Generations said that the emergence of the Covid-19 virus may have brought a shift in focus, culminating in the loss of some gains made in the past years in TB.

She further stated that it is good that we bring the focus on investing to end TB which will ensure that lives are saved and preserved.

This is why HFFG is calling on the government and world leaders to increase investment, and to ensure that resources are released and properly allocated towards the fight against TB to #EndTB by 2030, while ensuring that human rights of persons living with TB are upheld.

This will secure a plummeting of the stigma index of the TB situation in Ghana and wherever people are suffering from TB.

HFFG is also calling on all persons at all levels to invest what they can in support of the fight to end TB and save lives.

Currently, HFFG has secured a grant from the Stop TB Partnership and is implementing a 1 year Project (TBImpact - Ghana) aimed at capacitating affected communities to lead to design, implementation and monitoring of TB interventions, as well as promoting accessible, equitable and quality TB services in Greater Accra, Central and Volta Regions of Ghana.

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