ACCRA, The National Tuberculosis (TB) Control Programme (NTCP) of Ghana’s health Ministry will carry out a nationwide tuberculosis (TB) survey before the end of the year to create a national database for the eradication of the disease, says an official at the NTCP, Dr. Emmanuel Anane Yeboah.

Speaking at the bi-annual review meeting of the Global Fund New Funding Model for the control of HIV and TB in Ghanaian prisons here Monday, he added that under the programme, the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), together with Theater for Change, had been providing HIV and TB prevention and services to inmates in all the 46 prisons.

Dr. Yeboah noted that many people suffering from TB had not been seeking medical attention. They would just go to the pharmacies and drug stores to buy drugs over the counter, something which had made the micro-bacteria causing the disease, to develop resistance to current drugs being used for treatment.

He said the NTCP had recommended a second line of drugs for the treatment of patients who appeared not to respond to the drugs prescribed for them. He also spoke of the acquisition of a digital machine, which he described as more effective, efficient and could analyze many samples faster, to aid early detection of the disease.

Anne-Marie Afainie-Godwyll, Co-ordinator of the Global Fund New Funding Model Project, said prisoners, who reacted positively to TB tests, should be promptly referred to hospital for treatment.

She added that discussions were on-going for the establishment of barbering centres in the male prisons, which would be supplied with clippers to stop the practice of inmates sharing blades and other sharp objects for hair cutting.