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27.02.2013 Health

Malaria in children reduce in Upper East

By GNA
Dr Koku Awoonor-WilliamsDr Koku Awoonor-Williams
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Bolgatanga, Feb. 26, GNA - Dr Koku Awoonor-Williams, Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, on Tuesday reported that malaria cases in children under age five in the Upper East Region had  reduced significantly within the last five years.

He said from 2.2 per cent in 2006, child malaria cases had reduced further to 1.0 per cent in 2011 and 0.6 per cent in 2012.

This, Dr Awoonor-Williamshe said, was due to improvement in malaria case management and diagnostic capacity of clinicians as well as malaria campaign interventions and promotion of use of bed nets in the region.

He also mentioned the complementing role played by the National Health Insurance and the Community Based Health Programmes (CHPs).

Dr Awoonor-Williams revealed this at a four-day Regional Health Sector Performance Review Meeting in Bolgatanga where participants would take stock of the performance of the health sector.

He said the improvement in clinical services in the region had yielded dividends as the region's per capita outpatient visits showed an increase in people accessing health care from qualified health professionals from 1.4 per cent in 2011 to 2.1 per cent  in 2012.   

He said the reduction of under-five fatalities in malaria since 2006 was also due to early diagnosis and treatment and added that though the region was making significant strides there was also the need to focus on neonatal care to reduce preventable deaths as they impacted the attainment of MDG Four.

To this end, Dr Awoonor-Williams said two neonatal intensive care units were soon to be established along with neonatal and newborn care trainings with the support of UNICEF.

Touching on the theme, "Achieving Health Service Coverage through Quality Data: Impact of DHIMS 2 Implementation,' Dr Awoonor-Williams stressed that the sub districts and communities were data generation points that helped in decision making and planning of the health sector.

He, therefore, called on the Ghana Health Service to support in the capacity building of all staff and equip the region with computers for effective keeping of data.

He said UNICEF was supporting the regional directorate to roll out training on quality data generation and validation for the District Health Information Management System (DHIMS 2).

Dr Elias Sory, a former Director of Ghana Health Service, who was the guest of honor, reiterated the importance of data management.   

He said the days when community health workers were inundated with numerous sheets of paper to fill in information were gone and asked stakeholders to take up the challenge of the information age to produce effective and quality data.

Partners at the review meeting included the Catholic and Presbyterian health care, Food and Drugs Authority, National Health Insurance Authority, Civil Society on Health, Statistical Council, World Vision and UNICEF.

GNA

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