The Fascinating Case of Ghana’s fight against TB

With a population of more than 32 million, Ghana suffers from TB nearly four times the WHO average. About 45 thousand people are estimated to have developed TB. But it is the missing persons with TB in Ghana that are alarming. An estimated 31 thousand people with TB are considered missing; of these, nearly 6000 are children.

The 2015 WHO report claimed that about 67% of all new TB cases remain undetected. Yet, interestingly, Ghana also has a substantial 85% of curing known cases. The slow and expensive diagnostic process was a huge health system impediment. Keeping this in mind, the Ghanaian government approved the “Acceleration of Tuberculosis Case Detection in Ghana” in February 2016. One of the largest eHealth projects in Africa, it aimed to deliver diagnostic testing efficiently and affordably to its citizens.

With the help of a Dutch Government ORIO grant, Delft Imaging partnered with Oldelft Benelux and Universal Hospitals Group. We installed 52 EasyDRs, equipped with CAD4TB and teleradiology technology, across Ghana. Eighteen of these X-ray units were permanently installed in hospitals across the country. Used to screen various health problems alongside TB diagnosis, they strengthen the Ghanaian healthcare systems.

Additionally, we delivered 30 semi-mobile clinics and four mobile OneStopTB clinics. These self-sustainable clinics are all-terrain screening vans that can reach Ghana’s most vulnerable communities. All the X-ray units are connected to a central database and diagnostic viewing station using Delft’s teleradiology technology. This allows healthcare providers to call in expertise remotely when needed.

All 52 digital X-ray systems were installed on time and under budget. They are covered under nine years of service and support provided under the project as the maintenance period.

Making a difference

We are proud to contribute to Ghana’s healthcare infrastructure, particularly the detection and screening of TB. Since its implementation in 2018, over 1,000,000 X-rays have been taken with the installed EasyDR digital X-ray systems.