The Ghanaian government says tuberculosis patients incur median costs of up to US$4,455 per treatment episode, including direct medical and non-medical costs.
The revelations are contained in a report that details the results of a national survey to establish the economic burden faced by households with TB patients.
The report said two-thirds of TB-impacted households incur heavy costs, including income loss and expenditure on food. The survey found that most households are often overwhelmed by the disease and struggle to cope.
According to the findings, poor drug resistant patients, the non-salaried employees and the unemployed often fail to manage the high costs and burden associated with TB.
The survey identified poverty as a major barrier to healthcare among TB patients, with 46% of those surveyed reporting that they were already living in poverty before diagnosis.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the disease burden in Ghana has grown because more than 60% of TB patients were undiagnosed or unreported in the past decade.
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