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03.02.2005 Health

Community based Health Planning Services (CHPS) launched at Lahagu

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Lahagu (N/R) Feb 03, GNA - About 80 per cent of the population in the Tamale Metropolitan Area are expected to benefit from a Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programme this year under which people with elephantiasis and hydrocele would be treated. Lymphatic Filariasis, commonly known as elephantiasis, is caused by small worms that are passed from one person to another through the bite of the culex mosquito while hydrocele is caused as a result of the collection of fluid in the scrotum.

Mr Gilbert Dery, the Northern Regional Coordinator of the Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programme, said this at the launch of a Community Based Health Planning Service at Lahagu, a village near Tamale on Tuesday.

The programme would take care of the health needs of about 3,000 people in eight communities in the area.

Mr Dery said under the programme households would be registered and provided with "ivermectin and albendazole" drugs to interrupt the transmission of the two diseases.

Between one and four tablets of "ivermectin" would be administered to everybody except pregnant women, lactating mothers and five-year-old children who are less than 90 centimetres in height. In the case of "albendazole", everybody would be provided with the same dosage of one tablet each while surgeries would be performed on those with hydrocele.

The CHPS programme involves house-to-house visits by a resident nurse to ascertain the health needs of the people and offering treatment to the sick at home.

It also offers health education in the areas of sanitation, antenatal and family planning services, provides immunization services to children against the six childhood killer diseases, as well as makes referrals of complicated cases to the hospitals.

Mr Dery urged the people to take a critical look at their spending and contribute towards the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). Dr John Abenyeri, Tamale Metropolitan Director of Health Service, said the CHPS sought to empower households with knowledge on health prevention and promotion through the adoption of appropriate health practices.

He told the people not to use the CHPS as an excuse to refuse to register with the NHIS and urged them to patronize the scheme to qualify them for quality healthcare services.

Dr Abenyeri said the guinea worm disease, which was endemic in the area, had been eradicated.

He therefore appealed to the people to be conscious of the preventive measures that they had adopted to prevent the recurrence of the disease.

The chief of Lahagu, Naa Dauda Abdulai, said CHPS would help improve the health status of the people in the area and called for cooperation to ensure the smooth implementation of the programme. 03 Feb 05

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