The Ghana tuberculosis Voice Network, a Civil Society Advocacy group has trained some fifteen vocal volunteers in Kumasi to embark on a massive TB outreach in the Ashanti Region.
The TB Voice Network was first established in the Greater Accra region under the support of the West Africa Aids Foundation after which it won a challenge facility as a Civil Society Organisation to organise TB programmes in worst affected communities.
The personnel who underwent the training on Friday at the premises of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) are all persons who have once suffered from Tuberculosis and been treated.
Speaking to Ultimate News, the General Secretary of the TB Voice Network Jerry Amoah Larbie noted that the roles of the volunteers will be to draw public attention to TB and to encourage those living with the condition to adhere to treatment.
“We are a group of persons who have been infected by TB and we decided to mobilize a number of people across the regions to do advocacy, to be treatment supporters and to share their experiences living with TB so that they can encourage other TB clients and inform them on new treatment regimes and also support them to go through their treatment,” he said.
He also called for government to support tuberculosis patients most of whom are underprivileged and have lost their livelihoods to be enrolled under the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty programme.
“TB patients in Africa as a whole are people who are very poor, so means of eating well and getting transport to go for check-ups is very difficult for them and we will be glad if they could be rolled into the LEAP programme,” he requested.
The 2016 parliamentary candidate of the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) in the Nhyieso constituency Kofi Debrah Afrifa Debrah who has also suffered Tuberculosis before is also a focal person on Tuberculosis in the region.
He told Ultimate News, “our duty is to encourage persons who have been screened and tested positive and also to serve as models of hope for people who have TB but find it difficult to coming out.”
“I use myself as an example of a person who contested for Member of Parliament. I have become a stakeholder and a personality in the society and when I am out to educate people on the disease, people will listen because just like the late Nelson Mandela survived it, I have survived tuberculosis.”
The Ashanti region technical coordinator of the Ghana Aids Commission Olivia Graham who graced the occasion told Ultimate News her outfit is committed to working with any programme targeted at Tuberculosis advocacy as about fifty percent (50%) of all people who have tested HIV/AIDS positive contract Tuberculosis.
By: Ghana/Ultimatefmonline.com/106.9FM/Ivan Heathcote–Fumador & Mina Motherlyn Ali