11.05.2005 Regional News

About 182 children under five years die in Eastern Region

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Amanokrom (E/R), May 11, GNA - The Eastern Region has recorded 182 child mortality of under five years within the first quarter of this year.

The figure is made up of 90 children under one month, ten under one year and 82 under five years.

Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyira, the Eastern Regional Director of Health Services, said this at the launch of the Child Health Promotion Week at Amanokrom-Akuapem on Tuesday.

He said despite the various intervention programmes like "Poverty reduction and wealth creation, Millennium Goals and the Child Rights Act", child survival beyond five years was still a global measure for the level of development of a nation.

Dr Appiah-Denkyira appealed to traditional authorities and assembly members to demand quarterly data on child and maternal mortality in their area from the their local health authorities and hold public discussions on how to help bring the figures down.

Dr Eugenia Danquah Quist, the acting Akuapem North District Chief Executive, said it was the desire of the government to ensure the success of the poverty reduction and wealth creation programme but "unfortunately the government is confronted with a number of problems, including high infant mortality rate."

She said to help solve the problem, the government had put in place many programmes, including the provision of 3.1 billion cedis, this year to sponsor free medical care for pregnant women and delivery services by skilled personnel in the Eastern Region alone. Mr Abdul Elijah Karim, the Regional Birth and Death Registration Officer, said as at 2003 the national registration of births and deaths coverage was only 29 per cent.

He said with the institution of the OAU Day of the African Child, Child Health Week and Birth and Death Registration Day programmes, the situation was improving, registration coverage now stood at 51 per cent. Mr Karim said the Eastern Region recorded an increase in the registration of children less than one year from 20,053 in 2003 to 28,745 in 2004.

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