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12.11.2008 Education

GHS Concerned About Abscence of Records On Migrants In W. Region

By Clement Adzei Boye, Takoradi -

The Western Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has expressed concern about the absence of records on people described as having “returned from irregular migration”.

According to the GHS, another side of the current situation was that, there were no records on the type of diseases that the migrants bring into the region.

The Regional Director of GHS, Dr Linda Vanotoo made this disclosure when she briefed the media on irregular migration and how it was affecting the region.

She said that most proportion of diseases was attributive to migration and that there were no systems in place to address the specific needs of the migrants on their return to the region.

Some of the health implications, Dr Vanotoo mentioned, was that the migrants were prone to diabetes, hypertersion, heart diseases, cancers and kidney problems.

Others, she said included diseases associated with smoking, use of drugs, unstable relations and prostitution (male and female).

According to the regional director,  migrants face challenges that include despair, intimidation, poor job security, fear of deportation and poor access to quality healthcare.

On why people migrated, Dr Vanotoo mentioned that the major reasons included the need to seek greener pastures in order to raise funds for remittances to support families, contribution to development, search for better life opportunities and self actualisation.

Migration, she explained was a break with family, friends and established social networks

Dr Vanotoo told the media that the International Organisation on Migration (IOM) was collaborating with the GHS to provide humane benefits to migrants.

“We provide health information and service to returning migrants and have allocated space and human resources for HIV/AIDS voluntary counseling and testing (VCT),”  she stated.

She said that the IOM and the GHS including some partners had offered free counseling to some people at Shama on VCT and HIV/AIDS.  “If they test positive they would receive support.”

All these interventions have been designed to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and to contribute to national development,” Dr Vanotoo said.