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22.04.2004 Regional News

Implementation of NHIS in Wassa West on course - DCE.

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Tarkwa (W/R) April 22, GNA - A 15-member-committee set up by the Wassa West District Assembly in January to plan the smooth implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) has completed the coding of 21,648 houses to help identify potential subscribers. So far 138 of the 230 units have benefited from a series of sensitisation and training workshops to enable as many people as possible to register and benefit from free medical services that the scheme would provide.

Mr. Emmanuel Kwesi Ayensu, District Chief Executive (DCE) said these when he addressed the first ordinary meeting of the second session of the assembly at Tarkwa on Wednesday.

Wassa West is among 52 other districts that have been provided with 350 million cedis seed-money by the government to promote the smooth implementation of the NHIS.

Mr. Ayensu said by October this year, 250,000 subscribers would have been registered under the scheme while 60,000 people would be fully paid up members to enjoy free medical treatment of certain ailments to be prescribed by the scheme by December 2004.

"With these, everything points to the fact that the district is moving steadily towards achieving its set targets", he said, and reminded members of the assembly of their obligation to work hard for the success of the scheme in the district, since they have a stake in it.

The Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development had been asked for financial assistance to provide the Wassa West Health Insurance Scheme with a permanent office estimated to cost 293 million cedis.

Mr. Ayensu commended the District Health Management Team and health personnel in the district for offering dedicated service to enhance the health needs of the people.

During the just ended National Immunization Programme for children between zero and five years, the district achieved 98.6 per cent in the first phase and 105 per cent in the second phase of the programme.

He announced that research indicated that maternal mortality and complications during pregnancy were the two major causes of death in the district, describing the phenomenon as "highly alarming", especially when such deaths were avoidable.

Mr. Ayensu said, the District Health Directorate with support from the World Health Organisation had launched a project code-named "Making Pregnancy Safer".

The project would help to improve the skills and competence of service providers, increase access to quality maternal care and safe delivery and reduce travelling time from community to first-point-contact among others.

In addition to this, 23 public health officers had been trained as outreach community health service providers in some selected communities.

New community clinics being manned by trained officers had been opened at Benso, Nyarso, Asoampa and Damang, and according to Mr. Ayensu, communication between community and health facilities had been installed at the Nsuaem Health Centre, Benso and Essaman and other inaccessible areas in the district.