Challenge Facility grantee calls for TB programmes that target vulnerable populations in Ghana

07 November 2013 - Bolgatanga, Ghana - Rural Initiatives for Self-Empowerment-Ghana (RISE-Ghana), a nongovernmental organization (NGO), has called for the urgent launch of tuberculosis (TB) programmes that target vulnerable populations such as prisoners, miners and mining communities in hard-to-reach areas.

RISE-Ghana, a grantee of the Stop TB Partnership’s Challenge Facility for Civil Society, says that limited access to health care is preventing people who have TB from getting the care that they need. In a recent report, the NGO says that in 2012 only 613 TB cases were notified in Ghana’s Upper East Region, around half the estimated number of cases.

The report says that the region still relies on laboratory-based sputum testing and doesn’t have a reliable network of health workers to collect test samples. It also says that there is limited support for TB care efforts from the media, traditional leaders, TB-affected people, NGOs, the private sector and community members.

On behalf of civil society organisations and TB-affected people, Mr. Ahmed Awal, a resource mobilisation advisor at RISE-Ghana, called on government and stakeholders to equip the region with the necessary human resources and technologies - such as GeneXpert Machines - to aid early and accurate case notification and treatment.