The West Africa AIDS Foundation and International Health Care Canter collaborated with the health directorate of Ga East to implement TB screening as part of routine service during ante natal care for all pregnant women.Facilities that took part in the project were: Taifa Polyclinic, Abokobi Health Center, Ashongman Community Hospital and Ghana Atomic Energy Commission Clinic.
Midwives from the selected health facilities underwent training to equip themselves with the necessary skills to screen pregnant women for TB. 15 midwives participated with 5 facilitators, two from the health directorate and three from WAAF/IHCC.
Dr Vanderpuye, CEO of WAAF shared global TB statistics and specified how important it is that TB is included in general health services, and also in antenatal services. She gave a deeper understanding of why it is so important to focus on TB services and care for women and especially pregnant women. Trainees were also taught how to use the TB screening tools.
During project implementation, a total of 1164 pregnant women underwent TB screening using the official NTP TB screening tool. Out of this, 24 cases were presumptive of TB and were either referred to IHCC for sputum microscopy or their sputum samples were collected on spot for further transport and analysis at IHCC.
Of the 24 referred and samples collected, 18 were analyzed but no positive sputum results were received. At the end of this project, although no positive TB cases were detected, TB screening has now become part and parcel of regular screening of pregnant women and so we are confident that should any pregnant women be harbouring TB bacteria and having even vague symptoms through active screening, she will be detected so she can be helped.