The population in Ghana suffered from TB at nearly four times the WHO average. According to the World Health Organization 2015 report, about 67% of all new TB cases remain undetected. But because the country did have a strong record of 85% of curing known cases, it was clear that the slow and expensive diagnostic process was creating the problem. In February 2016, the Ghanaian government approved one of the largest eHealth projects in Africa to date: “Acceleration of Tuberculosis Case Detection in Ghana,” aiming to deliver diagnostic testing in an efficient and affordable way to its citizens.
The Delft Approach
With the help of a Dutch Government ORIO grant and partnering with Oldelft Benelux and the Universal Hospitals Group, Delft Imaging Systems installed 52 X-ray systems across Ghana, equipped with Computer Aided Detection for TB (CAD4TB) and teleradiology technology.
18 of these X-ray units are permanently installed in hospitals across the country. Because this allows them to be used for a variety of other health problems in addition to TB diagnosis, it strengthens the Ghanaian healthcare system as a whole. In addition, Delft delivered 30 semi-mobile clinics and 4 mobile OneStopTB clinics. The OneStopTB clinics are self-sustainable and all-terrain screening vans that have the capability to travel to Ghana’s most vulnerable communities.
All of the X-ray units are connected to a central database and diagnostic viewing station using Delft’s teleradiology, allowing healthcare providers to call in expertise remotely when needed.
Making an Impact
We are proud to say that our efforts in Ghana already greatly contributed to the detection and diagnosis of tuberculosis. More than 60,000 people have been screened and the cost of detecting active TB cases has reduced significantly.