The Service proudly joined the world in commemorating the 2024 World Tuberculosis Day in Koforidua, under the theme “Yes, we can end TB.” The launch was held to celebrate the remarkable achievements made in reducing the burden of TB in the country, the challenges faced, and the way forward to eradicate the disease.

The Director-General’s speech, delivered by the Public Health Director, Dr. Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, emphasized two remarkable achievements during the commemoration of the 2024 World TB Day. These achievements include the significant increase in TB detection and the completion of the MDR TB treatment and center of excellence in Nsawam. The Service has not only expanded access to TB services but has also ensured that essential medicines and diagnostic tools are timely distributed, even in remote areas. Service delivery points are now well-equipped to manage and care for TB patients. The Director-General underscored the urgent need for awareness creation and education as key efforts in combatting the epidemic and achieving the goal of ending TB by 2030. He passionately called on all stakeholders to come together to end TB once and for all.

Dr Yaw Adusi-Poku, the Program Manager for the National TB Control Program,  commended healthcare professionals, policymakers, the media, and other stakeholders for their unwavering commitment to reducing the burden of Tuberculosis in the country. He revealed that last year, over 19,000 TB cases were detected, which is a significant improvement over the 2022 case detection of 16,500. He highlighted the impressive treatment success rate of 87%, which means that 9 in 10 people detected with TB in Ghana were successfully treated with the appropriate TB medicines, while 29,700 contacts of TB patients were enrolled on TB Preventive Treatment. He also mentioned the impressive improvement in the mortality rate, which is currently 6.1% as against the previous 10%.

Despite these remarkable successes, Dr. Adusi-Poku called for an intensified fight against the disease, especially in children, hinting at a gap in pediatric TB management in the country. He noted that the TB program has started using stool samples to test for TB in children and touched on the need to augment and strengthen testing among children who cannot produce sputum using stool samples. Dr. Adusi-Poku noted some challenges in the fight against ending TB, such as financial resources, low advocacy, especially in the media space, and suggested the need for enhanced social and behavioral change communication that would reduce stigma and mortality associated with TB. He further encouraged employers and all well-meaning Ghanaians to add screening to their workplace policies to get their staff screened annually for TB. The Program Manager called for a collaborative effort in ending the epidemic.

Dr Anthony Ofosu, the Deputy Director-General, delivered a speech on behalf of the Minister of Health, reaffirming the government’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that every person affected by TB has access to comprehensive health and social support packages. The Minister emphasized the need to intensify efforts to identify missing TB cases, with a special focus on detecting TB in children.

The Health Minister further urged NHIA offices in all districts to maintain their collaborative efforts with the Health Service, ensuring that every TB patient is enrolled in the NHIA. Moreover, the Ministry in partnership with the Global Fund has completed an ultramodern facility in Nsawam to manage Drug-Resistant TB cases, offering renewed hope to individuals battling drug-resistant TB and their families.

The Minister stressed the importance of creating awareness of TB and joining in the fight to end it. With strong determination and collaborative efforts, we can prevent the devastating financial impact of TB on patients and their families.