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06.01.2006 Health

134 volunteers trained in Guinea worm eradication

By GNA

Drobo (B/A), Jan.6, GNA - The Jaman South District Health Directorate has trained 134 community-based surveillance (CBS) volunteers as part of efforts for the eradication of Guinea Worm infection in the country. The CBS system was instituted in Ghana in 1989 for the Guinea worm eradication project.

The main work of the volunteers is to make case detection, case reporting, case investigations and service delivery more accessible to communities.

Mr. Ralph D. Dagoe, Jaman South District Director of Health Services announced this at a workshop at Drobo on Thursday. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)in conjunction with the Jaman South District Assembly sponsored the workshop. The participants selected from all the 67 communities within the district were taken through signs and symptoms of usual and pre-selected events, registration of births, deaths and vital statistics and specific activities of the CBS worker.

Mr. Dagoe explained that, the training did not make participants permanent staff with salaries but they would be included in any national health delivery exercise like poliomyelitis immunization and measles supplementation.

He said the participants would also be entitled to incentive packages like the institution of annual best volunteers award, presentation of bicycles to deserving volunteers, printing of identity cards and T-Shirts.

Mr Dagoe asked the participants to work diligently since the Surveillance concept system depended largely on the active involvement of the chosen volunteers within the communities.

Mr Apraku Tanor, Jaman South District Chief Executive, addressing the opening session, called on the participants to avail themselves of the golden opportunities offered under the concept in the eradication of guinea-worm, particularly within the district.

Mr. Tanor said, the assembly would support the system to prevent the outbreak of poliomyelitis and Guinea worm infections, which the district was still struggling with areas along the Ghana-Cote d'Ivoire borders to eradicate.

Mr John Agyenim Boateng, Jaman South District Births and Deaths Registrar, took the participants through field practical training to embark on registration of new births and detection of usual and unusual events at Babianeha.

He said individuals, hospitals and the nation required statistics on births and deaths for security and insurance claims. Others are age, nationality, parentage, drug requirements, employment rate, establishment or expansion of institutional facilities and socio-economic benefits.

Mr Daniel Owusu-Amponsah, District Disease Control Officer, said his outfit teamed up with the community-based surveillance volunteers to achieve positive results on the control of diseases including guinea worm, which had also enhanced their bid to have a concise database. He cited the case in point with the Northern region, in which the caseload for dracunliasis fell from 104,000 in 1989 to 4,207 in 1996, and hailed the concept of surveillance.

Mr Owusu-Amponsah said without surveillance and monitoring reduction of the disease could not have been possible without the CBS system.

Facilitators at the workshop commended CBSV's and the health directorate for their endeavour to combat Guinea worm infection and other diseases in the district. 06 Jan.06

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