Over 1000 people in the Ablekuma Central constituency in the Greater Accra region have been screened for Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and other related diseases, over the weekend.
The screening organized by Afro Global Alliance Ghana and other partners - Aurum Institute and Ghana TB World Network, was the second of an ongoing TB and HIV Awareness campaign under the theme; “It is time to end TB,” which is using football as a medium to get to the people.
The first screening exercise was held in March at the Kotobaabi Park in the Ayawaso Central Sub Metropolitan District in Greater Accra which attracted over 150 people.
Compared to the first screening, the second edition held at the Ablekuma Town Council Park, witnessed an exponential soar in patronage as indigenes enjoyed their football alongside the free screening exercise and education of the diseases.
Mr. Sampson Ofori, Program Director for Afro Global Alliance said, the decision to use football as a medium to increase the awareness of the disease particularly TB has been a brilliant one so far.
“Our aim for the campaign is to reach the urban slam areas and that's why we chose Ablekuma Central, because this place is heavily populated and there is a suspicion of diseases like TB and others here, due to the high population. Football has been really good medium to get to our targets (thus the local people), because we have used the advantage of football to screen many people who were largely spectators for the games today,” he said.
With the third edition scheduled for Ashiedu Keteke Sub Metropolitan District in a fortnight time, Mr. Ofori said TB awareness level within the society was very low and so they were bent on increasing the intensity of the campaign to make sure that the message got to every nook and granny of the country.
“We don't want to relax ourselves again in handling TB cases because mostly people only talk about TB when it is World TB day but apart from that there is no activity again, so we have decided to collaborate with the Metros so we can be doing activities at all times so that we can find the missing cases.”
Mr. Isaac Asamoah, from the TB Control Centre Greater Accra, said the idea to bring the Awareness Campaign to the Abelekuma Central was laudable because the area was one of the highest recording areas of the disease within the Greater Accra region.
“In 2018 we recorded more than 2000 in Greater Accra, which this place (Ablekuma Central) gave us about 15% of the cases. So the disease is high in this area,” he said. Mr Asamoah noted that even though over 100 people had been screened for the disease, there was the need for more of such campaigns to fight the disease.
He said TB was treatable and urged all and sundry to visit the hospital when they see signs of severe coughing.
In a four-team tournament, Hero Shima FC won by a goal to nil in the final against Teeners FC to lift the much-coveted trophy at the Town Council Park in Abelekuma.