Best Practice to Unearth the Missing Cases of Tuberculosis (TB) Amidst COVID-19 in Ghana.

RUWA-Ghana participated among twenty-three (23) Implementing Partners (IPs) in one-day workshop organised by the West Africa Program to Combat AIDS & STI (WAPCAS) at the M & J Hospitality Lodge in Tamale on Friday, May 6, 2022. The workshop was held as part of its collaboration with the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) in implementing the project dubbed “Finding the Missing TB Cases Amidst Covid-19” which is being funded by Global Fund. The purpose of the workshop was to train the IPs on the best approaches to finding TB cases amidst COVID-19.

Introducing the workshop, Lord Essuah-wood, a board member of the STOP TB Partnership who doubled as the facilitator, discussed the impact of the pandemic on the project since its inception in 2020. He explained that TB cases during the pandemic were mistaken for COVID-19 cases due to similarities in their symptoms. He added that the situation tended to expose some TB patients to the COVID-19 stigmatisation. The situation, he said, led to many TB patients preferring to hide their symptoms to being stigmatized. This made contact tracing of TB cases very difficult. He further explained that it is possible to attain the overall objective of the project, which is “to end TB in Ghana by 2030” if trainers are given training to train others (volunteers) in the communities and areas where the project is being implemented. He then proceeded with the training session.

The training focused on how the COVID-19 affected the fight against TB and efforts to find the missing cases. In the process participants were put in groups to do practical group work aimed at making them have a practical view of the issues discussed.

On their part, the participants showed appreciation for the knowledge they gained and assured that they were going to practice it in their various organisations and also to impart the same to community volunteers. They added that such step down training will ensure that the project realizes its overall objective. The workshop ended with participants being optimistic that they will in turn impart the knowledge they have acquired to volunteers and others in their areas of implementation of the project.

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