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12.05.2007 General News

Committee wants action on guinea worm


The Parliamentary Select Committee on Government Assurances has recommended for the setting up of a national emergency plan interventions to tackle the guinea worm pandemic in the country.

"Government attention should be focused on improved water supply for all endemic and at risk communities", it said and urged District Assemblies to pass by-laws to punish those who flout them.

The members made the recommendations in Tamale on Friday at the end of a weeklong stakeholders' workshop aimed at validating some findings on guinea worm, and water supply to community worm endemic communities.

Other areas of concern included health care services and the patronage of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) as well as assess to basic education and the Free Compulsory Basic Education (FCUBE) programme.

The Institute of Policy Alternative organised and sponsored the workshop, which brought some five Parliamentary Select Committee members and some stakeholders from the Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Central, Western and the Greater Accra Regions.

The workshop was also meant to seek measures of fulfilling the primary mandate of providing parliamentary oversight responsibility regarding assurances made by the government to the people and to bring the work of parliament closer to Ghanaians.

The members of the select committee, stakeholders from the health services, education, opinion leaders, and some from the civil and public services, attended the workshop.

Ms. Agnes Chigabatia, Acting chairperson of the committee also called for the need to link the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) programmes to the guinea worm eradication areas, especially where there were high cases like Savelugu-Nanton District.

Other participants who contributed called for an increased collaboration among agencies responsible for water supply with those in the health sector to collectively fight out the disease.

On the improvement in basic education, they stressed the need for government to expand infrastructure and provide quality educational services to schools in the northern sector and find ways of motivating teachers to increase their input.

Other areas of importance the stakeholders discussed included the improved health service delivery and the measures to that would also improve the health insurances particularly an efficiency of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) administration to ensure that NHIS Cards were issued promptly.

Source: GNA