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Story of Surviving MDR TB (TB Champion In Ghana)

My name is Musa, in 2012, I fell ill with symptoms that we normally attribute to malaria. So I did what most people do - self medicate. With no improvement, I decided to visit the hospital where I was treated for malaria. It was at this time I started coughing. When cough medicines didn’t help, I visited various hospitals where I underwent many tests including sputum microscopy.

After one and a half years, I had a chest x-ray and was diagnosed with pneumonia. I was treated, but the cough continued. When I returned to the hospital, I was encouraged to try herbal remedies. My health was deteriorating, and I started vomiting blood. Finally, I was diagnosed with TB and started treatment. Now in a poor physical condition, I was a walking skeleton. Without a job or income, I missed a number of my refills. Despite that, after 6 months, I was told my TB was cured.

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Statistics from the Ashanti Regional Health Directorate show that tuberculosis (TB) infection is on the decline in the region.

A total of 2,241 cases, were reported last year, compared with the year 2015 figure of 2,367.

Dr. Kwesi Yeboah Awudzi, the Deputy Regional Health Director, said it represented a 2.7 per cent reduction.
He asked that this should however not make anybody complacent, but spur health workers and everybody on to sustain the momentum of the fight against the disease.

Tuberculosis, he indicated, was curable and encouraged patients to report early to the hospital, more so when its treatment was free.
His advice came as Ghana joined countries across the globe to mark the World TB Day.

“Unite to end TB” was the theme chosen for this year’s event, to promote public awareness of the disease, which had remained an epidemic – causing one-and-a-half million deaths, mostly in developing nations.

Dr. Awudzi spoke of what he termed “a worrying trend of multiple-drug resistant-TB” where treatment of the disease, using isoniazid and rifampicin drugs was becoming ineffective.

“The condition arises when patients fail to take the prescriptions rightly causing the TB bacillus – the causal agent, to overcome the effects of the isoniazid and rifampicin drug”. He reminded patients to stick to doctors’ prescriptions and to take their drugs regularly to avoid treatment failure.

Dr. Awudzi urged people to avoid crowded places and to cover their mouths and nose when coughing or sneezing.


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