World TB Day: Ending the canker by 2030 – Volta Region in retrospect 

A GNA feature by Agbaxode Emmanuel 

Akatsi (VR), March 30, GNA- It was on March 24, 1882 (142 years ago) that Dr Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes Tuberculosis (TB), which remained a major global public health concern. 

It is responsible for ill health and death of millions of people each year (World Health Organisation [WHO], 2022).  

According to research, the infectious airborne disease affects the lungs, but could also affect other parts of the body (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2023).  

It is spread when people who are sick with pulmonary TB expel bacteria through droplets into the air by talking, sneezing, and coughing.  

This year’s celebration was on the theme: “YES, WE CAN END TB.” 

Signs and Symptoms 

Cough, loss of weight, difficulty in breathing, loss of appetite, night sweats, coughing out blood, and fever are key indicators of detecting the disease. 

Studies have shown that everyone remains at risk, but those at more risk include people with low immune systems like HIV/AIDS, diabetes, children under five years, those sleeping in crowded rooms, and the aged. 

Focus on ending Tuberculosis  

Mr Wisdom Klenyuie, the Volta Regional TB Coordinator, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to mark the global awareness day, said, globally, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with TB in 2021 (WHO, 2022).  

“Overall, a relatively small proportion between five to 15 per cent of the estimated 2-3 billion people infected with M. tuberculosis will develop TB disease during their lifetime (WHO, 2022).” 

Mr Klenyuie, however, said the risk of developing TB was much higher among people with compromised immune systems, such as people living with HIV, malnutrition, or diabetes, or people who embraced tobacco. 

He revealed that the burden of the disease varied greatly among countries, with over half of all TB cases occurring in eight countries; India, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, and South Africa (WHO, 2022).  

Further, although TB incidence was falling globally, the rate of decline according to key stakeholders, was not fast enough to reach the laid down milestones set by WHO’s ‘End TB’ Strategy.  

Based on current trends, Mr Klenyuie explained that the 2030 milestone of a 90 per cent reduction in TB incidence compared with 2015 would not be achieved.  

“This highlights the need for intensified efforts and continued research to combat TB worldwide. In the African region, TB remains a leading cause of death from a single infectious agent (WHO, 2023).” 

According to the WHO, in 2023, there were an estimated 2.6 million TB cases and 450,000 TB-related deaths in Africa in 2021 with an estimated incident rate of 224 per 100,000 population, “more than double the global average of around 100 per 100,000.” 

The strategic plan was to end the disease by 2030, is it possible? 

Seven years Trend of TB in Volta Region 

The figures below indicate new cases, which were diagnosed yearly in the Volta Region alone. 

2017 recorded – 903 cases; 2018 saw 886; 2019 – 894 cases; 2020 – 808; 

  1. 802; 2022 – 885, and 2023 – 1,089. 

Mr Klenyuie called for all hands-on desk such as groups, individuals, governments, chiefs, and pharmacy/chemical sellers to create more awareness since the disease could be treated free of charge at all health facilities.  

It can also be diagnosed at the laboratory using a GeneXpert machine and X-ray. 

Preventive Measures  

To prevent TB, a few preventive measures from the health sector have been outlined, which include vaccination of children with Bacille Calmette Guerin (BCG), covering one’s nose with tissues when coughing and sneezing, and sleeping in ventilated rooms. 

The World TB Day is marked on the 24th Day of March every year to create awareness of the disease as well as to tell everyone that it is still in existence and causing damage to humanity. 

Treatment Success Rat

The treatment success rate rose from 61 in 2017 to 91.2 per cent in 2023, thus for those who got cured and completed the six months treatment regime. 

In a concerted effort to fight against TB, some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have also contributed heavily to ensure success in the region.  

They include Homes Fountain, Love Community, Seek to Save, and Rain Healthy Health Care. 

The above NGOs have embarked on educational campaigns and other activities to end TB over the past years. 


Even though the region recorded some successes, some challenges, however, remained a headache. 

These involve inadequate resources such as funding and insufficient motorbikes to carry out TB advocacy and other activities, inadequate equipment (GeneXpert machines and digital x-rays) 

Way Forward  

Mr Klenyuie appealed to the Government and other civil society organisations to support by providing additional resources to support TB activities.  

He encouraged pharmacies and chemical sellers to examine people who visit their outlets for cough mixtures and advise them to report to the health facilities for proper examination and treatment. 

“We will carry out targeted screening at prayer camps, shrines, and high-risk communities,” he noted. 


Per the above treatment and success rate, Volta Region is doing well by making sure that all the people placed on treatment regimes are getting cured and completing their six-months treatment.