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02.12.2004 Health

Limited funds hindering health scheme

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Accra, Dec. 2, GNA- Dr Evelyn Ansah, Dangme West District Director of Health Services, on Thursday said many people were yet to enrol in the prepaid health service scheme in the Dangme West District although the programme took off some four years ago in the area.

She said recent studies conducted in the area indicated that lack of money was one reason people gave for not enrolling in the scheme. Dr Ansah was speaking at the closing session of a 10-week workshop, aimed at building the capacity of researchers and social scientists on how to collect data, write reports and develop proposals on tropical diseases, especially malaria.

The School of Public Health, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) organised the workshop.

According to Dr Ansah, people in the community claimed that those who visited the health facilities were given common drugs such as paracetamol and that there was no need to enrol in the health scheme because they might as well go for such medication from chemical stores. She said this showed that people expected more from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) than just the provision of routine services.

Dr Ansah said malaria made up 50 per cent of all out patient's department cases in the district, and that home management of the disease was being promoted to ensure prompt treatment not only in the area but across the country.

Prof. Patrick Twumasi, a WHO consultant, stressed the need for social scientists and other researchers to get into the communities and get the profile of the lifestyles and beliefs systems that affected the health of the people.

He said this was necessary because the socio-economic development of a community directly had a bearing on the health of the people.

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