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16.10.2008 Health

Mice invade Effia-Nkwanta hospital

Mice invade Effia-Nkwanta hospital

Mice have besieged the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital as a result of poor environmental sanitation.

This has become a nuisance to the hospital's administration, the staff and patients who visit the facility.

Also, the hospital's administration is worried about the breeding of mosquitoes at the facility, which is likely to militate against effective health care delivery at the hospital.

The Medical Director of the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital, Dr Paul Ntodi, made this known at the launch of a sanitation campaign programme on the theme; "Preventing diseases through improved environmental sanitation in Ghana" at the hospital.

The Zoomlion Ghana Limited, waste management company, launched the programme in collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment, the Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment, the Ministry of Health and the National Health Insurance Authority.

Under the programme, personnel of Zoomlion will undertake clean-up exercises at the health facilities in the Sekondi/Takoradi metropolis and its environs after which the company will manage sanitation at the facilities over a period of time.

Dr Ntodi said it was not proper for a sick person who visited the hospital to go away with another ailment as a result of poor sanitation.

Therefore, he said, the sanitation programme was very important to the hospital's administration, since it would keep the premises of the hospital clean at all times.

He stressed that cleanliness was needed everywhere, but more important at the health facilities.

He mentioned some of the environmentally related diseases as malaria, typhoid and worm infections.

The acting Western Regional Director of Health, Dr (Mrs) Linda Vanotoo, deplored a situation in the markets where traders sold items in the midst of filth.

She urged parents to teach their children how to wash their hands after visiting the toilet and also to ensure that the children used footwear always, since worm infections militated against their growth and development.

Dr Vanotoo said this would protect the children against cholera, which could kill many people within a short period.

She said many children on admission at the children's ward at the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital needed blood.

Also, she said anaemic pregnant women experienced pre-mature labour, light birth, low weight and still birth.

Therefore, she said the need to keep the environment clean could not be over-emphasised.

Dr Vanotoo commended Zoomlion for the good work it was doing, and urged it to intensify its public education on public health.

The Western Regional Co-ordinator of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, Mr Felix Boankrah, said about 4,000 sanitary guards would be employed for the programme throughout the country to complement the work of the environmental health officers of the various district assemblies as part of efforts to keep the communities clean.

He said the main task of the sanitary guards was to improve sanitary conditions in the country through weeding, cleaning, sweeping of streets and open spaces, vector control, provision of dust bins and waste collection services.

Mr Boankrah said the campaign would be in the form of public education, which would be done in collaboration with the regional and district environmental health officers as well as communication co-ordinators at the district health directorates.

The Western Regional Manager of the National Health Insurance Authority, Mr Emmanuel Reinfred Okyere, said unregulated keeping of livestock and the indiscriminate disposal of empty cans further aggravated the breeding of mosquitoes.

He said with the provision of pipe borne water, many old hand-dug wells were left open, which subsequently became the breeding sites for insects.

Mr Okyere said the result of these environmental problems was that people continued to suffer from many environmentally related diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea, dysentery and typhoid.

"Today, malaria continues to occupy the top spot on the table of the top 10 diseases in most of our communities," he said, adding, "Malaria also continues to take a significant portion of the medical claims paid by the district mutual health insurance schemes in the country."