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Upper East Regional TB Coordinator worried about stigmatisation of TB patients

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The Upper East Regional Coordinator for Tuberculosis (TB), Majeed Sulemana, is worried about the continuous stigmatization of people living with TB. Mr. Sulemana explained that stigmatization at the community level prevents infected people from receiving the treatment they need.

He made these comments when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, Monday, March 25, 2024.

According to Sulemana, TB patients very often give out the wrong addresses to health professionals because they are scared of being stigmatized.

“They deliberately give out wrong addresses. There is a lot of stigma surrounding TB. They believe that if they give you the correct address, you, the health worker, is likely to follow up. If health workers begin going to their homes, community members would begin trying to find out the reasons for this, and if the community members find out it is TB, I am told that in the community, people with TB are said to be cursed or people who cannot be buried in family graves if they die. It is a source of worry to us,” he said.

Meanwhile, 130 people are said to have died from tuberculosis (TB) within the last six years in the Upper East Region. In 2018, 16 people died. The figure rose to 36 in 2020. In 2020, while Ghana battled with COVID-19, 25 more people died from TB.  In 2021, the figure rose to 28 and dropped to 12 in 2022. Last year, 13 died.

This is according to Suuk Wahab Laar, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for Tuberculosis in the Upper East Region. He disclosed this when he spoke to A1 Radio’s Mark Smith on the Day Break Upper East Show today.

Additionally, in the last three years, there has been a steady rise in the number of TB cases in the region. In 2018, the region recorded 615 cases. This figure rose to 624 in 2019 and dropped to 550 in 2020. In 2021, the figure rose to 609 and the further to 753 in 2022. 795 cases of TB were recorded in 2023.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith| Bolgatanga|

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