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14.07.2005 Health

Wassa West District Mutual Health Insurance takes off August


Tarkwa, (W/R), July 14, GNA - The Wassa West District Mutual Health Insurance Scheme would take off on August 1, Mr Emmanuel Kwesi Ayensu, Wassa West District Chief Executive, has said.

He was inaugurating a two billion-cedi maternity block built by Gold Fields Ghana Limited for the Tarkwa Government Hospital. He said the district is currently at the identity card production stage.

Mr Ayensu said as at June 30, a total of 14,760 people had registered as members of the scheme.

He said health workers in government institutions in the district have also been trained on the details of the scheme and appealed to the people to register.

Mr Ayensu said Wassa West District deserved a specialist hospital facility instead of a general hospital. He said a potentially rich but under resourced district has been waiting for years for a new district hospital but unfortunately information gathered points to the fact that the new hospital would just be a general hospital.

He said right from Ahanta West District to the newly created Bia District, there is no specialist hospital to cater for the needs of the many hard working residents of these districts.

He mentioned one of the major challenges facing the health personnel in Wassa West District as residential accommodation, yet this concern was not catered for, as part of the new hospital project. Mr Ayensu appealed to the Minister of Health tackle the problem of residential accommodation for personnel who will man the facility and said, "There cannot be a better time to implement this request than now".

Dr Teddy Avotri, Wassa West District Director of Health Services, said research done on prevention of maternal mortality in the district was to strengthen community capacity to respond to maternal emergency. He said in the cause of sensitisation and education, World Health Organization (WHO) provided funds to improve the referral system. He said, "If you go to all health centres in the district, short wave radios have been installed to link up each other and all other hospitals, so that in the event of an emergency in any of these communities, the hospital would get to know within minutes. He said 15 radios have been provided in 15 communities and by the end of 2006, 65 communities would have been provided with radios. Dr Avotri said WHO has also promised to provide a four-wheel drive ambulance to be stationed at Wassa Benso.

Dr Avotri said because of the Ghana Prevention of Maternal Mortality Programme that was initiated in the district and the achievement it has made so far, Ghana has won a place in the ''International Prevention of Maternal Mortality Community.'' "Before the studies, there were only five countries and now Ghana is the sixth".

He said in a recent summit in Zimbabwe in April, United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) promised to sponsor 20 people from 10 African countries to visit the Wassa West District to acquaint themselves with what the programme has achieved.