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Upper East improves on health indicators

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stethoscopeDr John Koku Awoonor-Williams, Upper East Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has said the region has chalked out success in its target health indicators for the first two quarters of 2013.

He stressed that: “ though the year under review has not ended, the region has made significant impact in its health indicators than before.’’

Dr Awoonor-Williams was speaking at the 2013 half year Regional Health Sector Performance Review Meeting in Bolgatanga on the theme: “Scaling Up Maternal and New Born Care Innovations to Achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4, 5 and 6”, in Bolgatanga.

He cited for instance that maternal mortality in the region had reduced from 168 per 100,000 live births in 2011 to 129 per100, 000 live births in 2013.

Dr Awoonor-Williams said there was an increase in the number of health facilities carrying out deliveries, from 86 in 2011 to 195 in 2013 alongside domiciliary deliveries and community –based emergency referral services initiatives.

He said ‘newborn care’ also improved with neonatal resuscitation training and timely emergency referral interventions at facility and community levels.

Dr Awoonor-Williams said the Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) zones stood at 83 per cent demarcated zones as compared to 50 per cent in 2010.

He said: “in relations to the region’s 295 total health facilities, CHPS represents 68 per cent, a reflection of the region’s commitment to CHPS as the answer to MDGs attainment

“The proportion of malaria cases and total morbidity continue to reduce from 43.3 per cent in 2011 to 37.4 per cent in 2013 although under five malaria cases fatality slightly increased from 0.6 per cent in 2012 to 0.8 in 2013”.

According to Dr Awoonor-Williams, Cerebra Spinal Meningitis (CSM) related deaths dropped drastically from 37 in 2012 to 18 in 2013, adding that none of the 13 districts in the region crossed the epidemic threshold for the period under review.

“We are also happy to note that there is no confirmed case of guinea worm and no cholera cases recorded in the period under review as compared to 2011 and 2012”, he said.

Dr Awoonor-Williams stated that family planning coverage in the region increased from 13.5 per cent in 2010 to 31.3 per cent in 2013, and that compared to the 2012 coverage of 18.2 per cent, the year under review represented very significant improvement and attributed the success to free family planning services and significant scale up of the CHPS coverage.

Supervised deliveries, he noted, continued   to increase from 33.3 per cent in 2011 to 47.6 per cent in 2013, alongside improvement of antenatal care coverage from 48.8 per cent to 57.2 per cent respectively.

Dr Awoonor-Williams mentioned the irregular budget allocation from government, inadequate means of transportation for health staff, lack of accommodation for staff and perennial refusal of doctors to accept postings to the area as challenges confronting the sector.

He, therefore, asked the District Assemblies and the Ministry of Health and other partners to solve the problems for effective health care delivery.

The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Daniel Syme, assured the Regional Directorate of Health that Government was leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the region got its fair share of health infrastructure.

He announced that the phase three of the Bolgatanga Regional Hospital was on track.

Dr Awoonor-Williams said the region would soon have its share of the construction of five polyclinics to be dotted over the country, adding that the Municipal and District Assemblies would continue to assist in the construction of CHPS compounds.

Source: GNA

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