WACCBIP Medical Outreach Event Makes News
A medical outreach event organised by the West African Center for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens ( WACCBIP) for residents of Korle-Gonno, a suburb of Accra, on 21st October,2017 has made the headlines.
The event , which attracted hundreds of residents of the community, was organised in collaboration with the Chest Clinic, Korle-Bu and the National Tuberculosis Programme to raise awareness on Tuberculosis and offer free medical screening and consultation. Comments made by Dr. Adwoa Asante-Poku Wiredu, a WACCBIP post-doctoral fellow at the forefront of the campaign to raise awareness on Tuberculosis, and the general success of the outreach programme were the focus of a news story on the online portal of The Publisher, an Accra-based newspaper.
The full news story, published on 25th October, 2017 is presented below.
Boost Immune System to Fight TB
A research fellow at the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research and the West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens (WACCBIP), Dr. Adwoa Asante-Poku Wiredu has stressed on the need for Ghanaians to enhance their immune system in order not to get sick with Tuberculosis (TB).
According to her, a healthy immune system can defeat an invading pathogen by fighting and completely clearing it out from the body system.
Dr Wiredu said everyone was susceptible to TB since the bacterium is airborne nonetheless, certain lifestyles can enhance an individual’s chances of being affected.
“Drinking and smoking—these two affect the lungs and TB is found mainly in the lungs. So, if you have things that affect the lungs and the pathogen likes to reside in the lungs, you are giving the pathogen the free chance to multiply and spread out,” she said.
Dr Wiredu made these submissions at a Medical screening organised by WACCBIP in collaboration with the Chest Clinic, Korle-Bu and the National Tuberculosis Programme for the Korle-Gonno community.
According to the researcher, though in this part of our world, we are endemic to TB, about 95% of people who come into contact with the pathogen do not progress with the disease.
“Everybody is at risk but those who are at higher risk are those who drink and smoke,” the doctor reiterated and added that “we stay away from such unhealthy lifestyles.”
A member of the community receiving medical attention from a health professional
The outreach brought together over 200 persons who were tested for various ailments including TB, Malaria, Anaemia and Blood Pressure (BP).
The screening revealed that many people living in the community had problems pertaining to BP and patients with serious cases were immediately rushed to the Korle-bu Polyclinic for further treatment.
According to Dr. Wiredu, they realised that though Korle-bu was close to the Korle-gonno community, education on medication consumption was low making patients to stop taking their medications and rather subscribing to herbal medicines.
The outreached offered participants free digital chest X-ray which could pick signals of TB even at the latent stage.
X-ray results together with laboratory analysis ((blood and sputum) will be garnered with an extensive follow up on positive results to ensure that patients receive further treatments.
The Korle-Gonno Mantse, Nii Tackie Owuowuo III, expressed immense gratitude to WACCBIP and pleaded with them to return with similar health interventions for his people.
He however asked the Korle-Gonno citizens to be more conscious of their health, and heed to the advice of the doctors, adding that, “be mindful of what you eat, exercise more frequently and if possible abstain completely from anything toxic, especially alcohol, because that is what is eroding the lives of most people in the community.