The West Africa AIDS Foundation (WAAF) and the International Health Care Center (IHCC), two organizations in Ghana continue to be determined in their efforts to fight TB. As a result they have intensified Active TB Case Finding efforts.
Although a health facility, you will find a team of medical personnel twice a week getting ready for their TB outreach as they call it. Equipped with IEC materials, the official NTP screening tool and sputum containers, the team sets out twice a week targeting densely populated areas such as market places. Especially on
Market Days when the crowds are drawn into the markets such as vendors and individuals from neighboring communities visiting to purchase goods, the WAAF and IHCC team are ready in their mobile Clinic and tools to talk about and screen for TB.
What makes this effort so interesting is that each and everyone at the clinic will participate at some point - nurses, counselors, doctor, physician assistant, laboratory personnel, pharmacy personnel, administrator, finance department staff have all been and will continue to go out there in search of TB.
Using the NTP screening tool, presumptive cases are either referred for further testing or sputum samples are taken right there on the spot and brought back to the IHCC facility to be analysed by sputum microscopy. Through collaborative efforts with a public facility with a gene xpert machine, negative sputum samples but for which the assumption was very high are sent for analysis using Gene xpert.
At the end of the project WAAF screened a total of 2153 community members (WR 964 and GAR 1189), 19 of the people screened were screened as a contact screening to one client diagnosed from a high risk living situation in a market in Accra.175 people were classified as eligible cases (WR 81, 94 GAR) where 125 could produce sputum for AFB microscopy testing (WR 72, GAR 53).
With the testing outcome we had 3 sputum smear positive clients (all in GAR, 2 in Ga East district, 1 in AMA), while 3 eligible cases were diagnosed to be TB cases based on suggestive x-ray screening which were done as a follow up when sputum results of these individuals turned out negative for AFB microscopy test (all in WR, STMA).
For all communities, the assembly /unit committee members and the TB Coordinators were very supportive of the screening activities conducted.
Continuous follow up visits and calls to the two diagnosed clients who were not willing to go on treatment has not yielded any positive outcome as at the close of the project period. WAAF with partners in the district facilities and TB coordinators will continue putting in effort in getting these clients into care.