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18.12.2006 Health

Yendi District ranks fourth in guinea worm cases

By gna
Yendi District ranks fourth in guinea worm cases
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Yendi District, in the Northern Region ranks fourth in guinea worm cases, recording 323 cases as at November this year as against 210 during the same period last year.

Dr. Sampson Aning-Abankwah, the Yendi District Director of Health Service, announced this at a meeting with health workers, which had Miss Lamisi Mbillah, Miss Ghana's 2005 as a guest at Sang.

He said the District Health Directorate (DHD) with support from the Carter Centre and the District Assembly was working round the clock to eradicate guinea worm in the area.

He said the health authorities have put in place measures such as the visiting of dams and ponds sites on weekly basis to carry out various educational activities and interact with women who come to fetch water.

Area and Zonal Coordinators of the Guinea worm Eradication Programme would also be reshuffled and allocated specific communities to promote effective supervision.

Dr. Aning-Abankwah said the DHD would take advantage of the Youth Employment Programme to introduce pond guides to keep surveillance on water points and sources in endemic communities while it intensified its search for hidden ponds.

He announced that community filtration points would be established to ensure that every pot of water leaving dams and ponds was safe for consumption.

Miss Mbillah expressed her gratitude to the Yendi District Health Directorate for the measures instituted, aimed at eradicating the disease, which was causing huge economic losses to the people and the country.

"Let all stakeholders give equal attention to the guinea worm disease as we are doing for HIV/AIDS, since both diseases have a negative impact on the livelihood of the people and the economic growth of the country", she said.

She appealed to the endemic communities to cooperate with the health workers to eradicate the guinea worm, which was now becoming known in medical jargon as “The Ghana Worm".

Alhaji Mohammed Tijani, Yendi District Chief Executive said even though inadequate water supply was the source of the surging number of guinea worm cases, much of the problem was attitudinal.

He said the district assembly was campaigning with messages on guinea worm eradication at durbars and supporting the Ghana Health Service, as well as empowering chiefs and opinion leaders to institute byelaws and impose sanctions on the people to help eradicate the disease.

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