The X-ray machines will be deployed to cover 53 per cent of the country.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made this known in a speech read on his behalf by the Minister of Health, Dr Kwaku Agyeman-Mensah, at the International Conference on tuberculosis (TB) and other lung diseases in Accra.
The conference, which is being organised by the Union Africa Region, a health-based non-governmental organisation, is themed, “Accelerating implementation through partnerships to end TB, HIV/TB, tobacco and other related non-communicable diseases (NCDs).”
Participants in the conference include researchers and healthcare professionals, including doctors, public health nurses, clinical nurses, pharmacists, laboratory technologists and public health administrators.
Civil society representatives, pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment manufacturers working on TB and lung disease controls in Africa are also attending the conference.
President Akufo-Addo said as a nation, “we have rapidly assimilated and updated our policies for accelerated TB control”, adding that the new diagnostic equipment known as ‘GeneXpert’ machines would cover 53 per cent of the country.
He said by the end of the year, plans would be advanced to cover the entire country with more diagnostic equipment.
“It is time to do things differently to achieve the desired TB case detection impact.
“TB must be controlled everywhere and anywhere, across borders, and countries must work in sub-regional networks such as the West Africa Regional Network for TB Control (WARN-TB),” he stated.
Fight against TB
“Africa has come a long way in fighting the TB epidemic” and therefore accelerating implementation to end the disease and other related conditions is apt,” the President noted.
He said the country would continue to work with its technical partners, including The Union African Region, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to end the TB epidemic in the country.
“Our efforts as a country are yielding dividend. Ghana has good TB treatment outcomes and has one of the lowest drug-resistant TB levels in Africa and indeed the world over,” he added.
The TB Ambassador, Nana Ehunabobrim Prah Agyensaim VI, who is also the Assin Kusheahene and President of the Assin Owirenkyi Traditional Council, said the time had come for Ghana and Africa as a whole to eradicate TB and other lung diseases.
The President of the Union African Region, Dr Jeremiah Chakaya Muhwa, in an address said the organisation was committed to fighting TB and other lung diseases across the world.
Awards in the categories of General Africa Region Heroes were presented to some groups whose work impacted positively on the association, as well as past presidents of the union.