Kumasi, April 15, GNA - Dr Kyei Fareed, Ashanti Regional Director Public Health, has called for concerted efforts by all stakeholders to address the high death rate, especially among children in the region. He said even though there had been a considerable reduction in many communicable diseases, there were still many health challenges, which had put the region among the top regions, which had high death rates among children in the country.
Dr Fareed made the call at the inauguration of a two billion-cedi clinic constructed by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in Kumasi on Friday.
The Out-Patient Department (OPD) clinic, which is located in the old premises of the COCOBOD, would cater for the health needs of staff of the company and its agencies as well as the general public. Dr. Fareed mentioned the reduction in the use of iodated salt in the region, reduction in contraceptive use, high prevalence rate of HIV, poor sanitation, non use of mosquito bed nets and the inability of most people to access health care, as some of the challenges which needed urgent attention.
He acknowledged the contribution of the private sector and quasi health institutions in health care delivery.
Dr Fareed, however, expressed concern about the quality of health care provided by some private institutions due to lack of qualified personnel and equipment.
He commended the COCOBOD for the initiative and hoped the clinic would contribute to the health needs of the people in the region. Mr Kwame Sarpong, Chief Executive of COCOBOD, said the second phase of the project, which involved the construction of a 24-bed ward and theatre would soon commence and completed in 12 months time. He said COCOBOD was committed to the health needs of the people, especially farmers and gave an assurance that cocoa clinics in Accra and Kumasi would contribute to the success of the National Health Insurance Scheme being implemented by the government.
Dr Victor Osei, Director of Health Services of the COCOBOD, commended the management of the company for taken concrete action to convert and renovate the old offices into clinic.