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04.01.2010 Health

Government to receive 50 ambulances to help combat maternal mortality

By GNA
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Tanchara (UWR), Dec. 3, GNA - The Ministry of Health will soon take delivery of 50 ambulances as part of efforts to further reduce maternal mortality in the country.

The ambulances would be distributed to some of the remotest parts of the country including Upper West, Upper East and the Northern Regions where cases of maternal mortality are said to be very high.

Dr Benjamin Kumbuor, the Minister of Health, made this known on Saturday when he inaugurated a Community Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound at Tanchara in the Lawra District of the Upper West Region.

He said eleven of the ambulances would be allocated to the Upper West Region out of which the Lawra District would receive two.

The Minister also noted that plans were far advanced for the construction of five poly-clinics in the Upper West Region to help improve quality health service delivery across all the nine districts in the region.

He commended the Lawra District for being the first district in the region to introduce free ambulance services for pregnant women and urged other districts to emulate the example.

The Minister said the acquisition of the ambulances was to help address the serious transportation problems faced by the CHPS facilities, adding that government was still negotiating with Germany, Brazil and Italy to acquire another set of 200 ambulances.

"The contribution of CHPS facilities towards quality primary health care cannot be over-emphasized, hence government's commitments to make sure that these facilities are well equipped to function effectively", he said.

Dr Kumbuor said government fully recognised the role played by Community Health Officers in ensuring quality health care at the rural areas and pledged that he would make sure they get their share of the national resources.

Dr Sebastian Sandaare, the Lawra District Health Director mentioned some of the factors affecting quality health delivery services in the area as high level of poverty, high illiteracy rate, food insecurity, inadequate portable water, sanitation and unguided lifestyles such as alcoholism and domestic violence.

He commended the chief and people of Tanchara for releasing their own building for use as a CHPS compound in the community.

Dr Alexis Nang-beifubah, Upper West Regional Director of Health Services urged the community not to hesitate in the release of lands to the Assembly for development purposes but cautioned that they should always make sure that all lands were properly documented to prevent land disputes.

He identified slow pace of compound construction, inadequate human resource and equipment as some of the major challenges to scaling up CHPS in the region.

Dr Nang-beifubah also expressed concern about the low consumption rate of iodated salt in the region adding that it had dire consequences for the healthy growth and development of children.

GNA

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