Busua (W/R) Feb.19, - GNA- District Directorates of Health Services were on Friday called upon to liaise with the district assemblies to implement preventive measures against malaria with the one percent of the District Assemblies Common Fund earmarked for the disease. Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, made the call when closing the three-day 2004 Performance Review Meeting of the Regional Ghana Health Service (GHS) at Busua near Takoradi.
The annual meeting was under the theme "Quality Data for Enhanced Performance".
Mr Aidoo said malaria continues to be the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in the region, accounting for 43 point 3 percent of Out Patients Attendance, 40 point 6 percent of hospital admissions and 19 point 5 percent of hospital deaths.
He said, "We have to intensify the fight against malaria by using cost-effective interventions against malaria such as the use of insecticide treated bed nets and intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in pregnancy".
Mr Aidoo said the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) would ensure that the one percent of the DACF would also be used on activities that would reduce the spread of other diseases.
Mr. Aidoo said the region has the lowest supervised delivery rate in the country and urged the GHS to work hard to ensure that pregnant women deliver at health facilities.
He said the government has made funds available for free deliveries for all pregnant women in the region.
"You are to manage these funds properly to ensure that the coverage of supervised deliveries improves in the Region," Mr. Aidoo said. He noted that Reproductive and Child Health Services saw some improvements in 2004 compared to the performance in 2003.
Mr Aidoo said School Health Coverage increased from 25 point 2 percent to 33 point 4 percent, Family Planning from 18 point 1 percent to 23 point 8 percent and supervised delivery from 41 point 3 percent to 47 point 6 percent.
He further observed that teenage pregnancy is on the increase and the region has the highest rate of 18 percent.
Mr. Aidoo asked the GHS to use innovative methods and all the communication channels available to reach out to the people with messages to enable them lead healthy lifestyles.
Dr. Sylvester Anemana, Regional Director of the GHS, said two health centres were constructed at Sewum and Sefwi-Akotombra and handed over to the GHS in 2004.
He said construction of additional four health centres at Adabokrom, Boinzan, Asawinso and Nsawora started last year.
The meeting asked the Regional Director to establish a team to investigate the poor performance of the regional maternity unit.