Ministry of Health to bridge equity gap in 2012

The Ministry of Health (MOH) would this year bridge the equity gap between rural/hardship and the urban areas in accessing health care.

The Ministry seeks to achieve this feat by equipping the Community Based Health Planning Services compounds as well as completing and disseminating the Emergency Obstetric Care assessment.

This was made known by Mr Robert Rojo Mettle-Nunoo, Deputy Minister of Health in a media encounter in Accra on the performance of the health sector in 2011 and plans lined up for 2012.

He said the ministry would also integrate the District Level Health Plans produced by stakeholders and scale up leadership development programmes at all levels.

Mr Mettle-Nunoo said 2011 had a number of challenges including the outbreak of cholera and H1N1 flu.

Despite the challenges the MOH made some successes in the management of cases like maternal health, HIV and AIDS, child health malaria, tuberculosis (TB) and guinea worm.

With maternal mortality declining from 451 per 100,000 live births in 2007 to 350 per 100,000 in 2010, showing a significant decrease, efforts would be doubled to ensure a further reduction to 185 per 100,000 live births to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG ) 5 by 2015.

Some of the interventions put in by the Ministry to address high maternal mortality include improved referral system, equitable distribution of health staff, training of more midwives, and equipping hospitals with obstetric equipment.

Under-five mortality currently is 80 deaths per 1000 live births and would be reduced to 40 deaths per 1000 live births to 2015 to meet MDG 4.

A total of 1,313,704 suspected malaria cases were recorded in the half year of 2011 with 495 deaths being attributed to malaria.

The National TB Control Programme entered the last semester of successful implementation of Global Fund Round 5 Grant and Control activities, which was integrated into the Ghana Health Service structure at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels of care.

The National Ambulance Service has 24 fully functioning ambulance stations distributed across the country and government is planning to expand the service to cover all district capitals.

Between January and April this year, 161 ambulances will be arriving in the country whilst the purchase of additional 400 ambulances is awaiting parliamentary approval.

The MOH will this year replace major equipment in Korle Bu and Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospitals whilst 90 districts and 14 health facilities will also benefit from the equipment replacement package.

With the National Health Insurance, a total of 239 health facilities were accredited by the end of June last year, with the capitation pilot programme underway in the Ashanti Region.

A Clinical Audit Directorate has been established to address fraud in claims management.

For the first half of 2011, a total of GH¢28,925,293 claims were audited from 101 health facilities. Out of this, GH¢471,215 was recovered from private health facilities and GH¢755,582 in government medical centres.

The Deputy Minister of Health said the Ministry would strengthen public private partnership to enhance performance, accountability and posting of personnel.

The Ministry he said would in August hold a National Health Awards ceremony to motivate health workers who excel in their fields.

He entreated Ghanaians to adopt healthy lifestyles to ensure prolonged lives and good health.

Source: GNA

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