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25.03.2009 Regional News

Government to establish a polyclinic in Bolgatanga next year

By gna

Dr George Sipa Yankey, Minister of Health on Wednesday, announced that Government would establish a polyclinic in Bolgatanga to ease the pressure on the Bolgatanga Central Hospital that is being upgraded.

He said Ministry of Health was taking measures to enhance health delivery in the country as well as increase in Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostic centres and improve campaign on the need to seek early medical attention for infectious diseases like TB, and discourage stigmatisations against TB and HIV/AIDS patients.

Dr Yankey announced this at the launching of World TB Day in Bolgatanga after an appeal by Mr Mark Woyongo, Upper East Regional Minister to complete work on a polyclinic started in the late 1970s.

The Day celebrated on the theme, "I am stopping TB" would cover a two-year period during which Ghana Health Service (GHS) would focus on involving the public in the prevention, control and cure of TB.

Dr Yankey noted that the Direct Observation Treatment (DOT) method of treating the disease had proved successful, recording a success rate of 85 per cent but the hindrance at combating the disease was stigmatisation that kept many suspected TB patients away from diagnostic centres, thereby endangering their lives and increasing the risk of infecting more people as an infected person could infect 10 to 15 people in a year.

"Unfortunately, people are ashamed of the disease. They feel it is a disgrace to the family, but experience has shown that such misconceptions often disappear when the community realises that effective treatment is available," he said.

Dr Yankey reacting to a question on the exodus of health workers for greener pastures, said Ministry of Health had started improving the conditions of service of health personnel, not only in terms of salaries but facilities, with the right equipment at the appropriate places for the personnel not to be frustrated over lack of equipment.

He said some personnel left the country not necessarily because of low salaries, but poor conditions and lack of equipment at health institutions that could be frustrating to them.

Dr Yankey said the Ministry had plans to install solar energy in all new buildings for health institutions or accommodation for workers to ensure workers had basic necessities of life.

He said housing units would be constructed at rural health institutions for personnel on postings to such places to have no excuses on refusal to go.

Mr Woyongo commended health personnel in the Region for their hard work and asked them to keep it up.