Member of Parliament (MP) for Nabdam Constituency in the Upper East Region, Dr Mark Kurt Nawaane is imploring government to treat tuberculosis (TB) as a serious matter and fund it the same way as it does for HIV/AIDS.
According to the Member of the Health Committee of Parliament, both HIV/AIDS and TB go together hence, his advocacy that government pays attention to tuberculosis as it does for issues regarding HIV/AIDs.
Speaking on the occasion to mark World Tuberculosis Day, March 24, Dr Nawaane said that he was expecting that government creates “an emergency fund to support the call to end TB in Ghana.”
“We are asking his Excellency, if he can, he should treat TB the way he treats HIV/AIDS because they go together, and bring TB also under the office of the Presidency as he has done for HIV, and let HIV/AIDs and the TV programme go together in terms of funding such that we can have enough funding for tuberculosis as well because people who have HIV, about 1.67% also have HIV,” the legislator added.
Dr Nawaane also bemoaned the fact that various health facilities across the country were having challenges in diagnosing TB due to a lack of adequate availability of the needed resources to aid the diagnosis of the disease.
The Nabdam MP stated that “In Ghana here, our problem has to do even with the diagnosis. And that is the TB machine that is used to diagnose TB, which is known as The Genexpert. There are about 168 of such machines in this country as against 261 districts which means that there are about 93 districts that do not have The Genexpert and that is affecting our ability to diagnose the disease.
“And then what we call the digital x-rays. The digital x-rays, we have only about 72 in this country and that simply is not enough,” the legislator disclosed during his speech”.
Thus, he urged government to put in efforts to help the various health facilities across the various districts in the country obtain the Genexpert machines.
Again, he bemoaned the fact that there was little to no sensitisation that were being done nationwide on TB.
This, he explained was that the funds needed to be able to launch Television programmes on the sensitisation of the disease were not being given to them in full by the government.
“In the local programme, we require about $18 million dollars a year to be able to carry out a TV programme but even with bonus support with what they can provide, the TV programmes are able to get only $7 million that is far below the $18 million that is required for the programme.”
He, therefore, proffered that a meeting be designated to discuss the subject of enhancing the nation’s current TB financial model be held by parties including government stakeholders, entrepreneurs, non-state actors, and civil society organisations.
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