Bolgatanga, May 9, GNA - The one week Special Health Programme set aside every year in May to intensify health out-reach service to children under five years, has proved most beneficial in the Upper East Region.
Last year, 51.7 more children were reached with various health services than in 2003, due to the Child Health Promotion Programme that was undertaken.
Also, 3000 children below one year were given birth certificates, while 13,353 bed nets were retreated as against 12,968 in 2003. The immunization coverage for the Child Health Promotion week for all diseases was also higher than any one month in 2003. The Upper East Deputy Regional Minister, Mr Awudu Yiremieh, made these known on Monday when he launched this year's Child Health Promotion Week over the local URA-Radio FM station in Bolgatanga. He said Infant Mortality rate had decreased from 80 per 1000 to 33 per 1000 live births between 1998 and 2003, as shown by a Demographic Health survey.
"We cannot allow our children to die any longer. Almost all the deaths of children are preventable, and there are available cost-effective interventions that can prevent all these deaths", he said.
During the week, which starts today, Monday, May 9, children between zero and five years would be vaccinated against all childhood diseases. They would be examined; weighed and given Child Health Cards. Other activities would include the distribution of Vitamin 'A' to children between six months and five years, provision of drugs against worms, re-treatment of mosquito nets with chemicals, registration of births and health education on iodated salt, malaria, Family Planning, HIV/AIDS, diarrhoea and tuberculosis.
Health workers in the region have prepared for, and would undertaking these activities during the week. Mr Yiremieh urged all parents and guardians to send their children to the nearest health centres and out-reach posts for these services, which would be done free of charge. He asked assembly members, chiefs, opinion leaders and volunteers to help health workers carry out the exercise. 9 May, 05