Efforts to reduce child mortality in the Upper West Region received a big boost on Wednesday when the UNICEF donated vehicles and Yamaha motor bicycles valued at over five billion cedis to execute the programme.
They were made up of eight Nissan Toyota Pick-Up vehicles to be distributed to the eight districts in the region, while 61 motorbikes would be presented to the sub-districts as well as a Nissan Patrol vehicle to be used to monitor the work.
The donation is a component of a 1.6 million United States dollars grant by UNICEF to the region to meet its target for the programme from 208 deaths per 1,000 live births to 104 deaths per 1,000 live births by the end of 2008.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony at Wa, Ambrose Dery, the Regional Minster said the crusade to reduce child mortality in the region should not be left to doctors and health workers alone.
He said the programme was a social contract in which District Chief Executives, Chiefs, Assembly members, opinion leaders and family heads must all play their part to ensure that the target was achieved by mobilising children for immunisation against diseases in the communities.
Mr Dery noted that the region had similar conditions like the Upper East region, but with the support of UNICEF it had been able to reduce child mortality by recording the lowest rate in the country, so there was no reason why the Upper West could not do the same.
On behalf of the chiefs and people of the region, he thanked UNICEF for its intervention and gave the assurance that with such a massive assistance, they would work hard to ensure that the target was met.