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02.02.2006 Health

HIV/AIDS and mental health among women on the increase at Sunyani


Sunyani, Feb.02, GNA - Dr David Opare, Sunyani Municipal Health Director on Wednesday expressed concern about the increase in HIV/AIDS and mental health particularly among women within the Municipality. He said the incidence of typhoid fever was being detected among the 10 Out Patient Department (OPD) cases reported generally at the Municipal hospital whereas malaria still topped.

Dr Opare was speaking at a day's seminar organised for Journalists and politicians by the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) to sensitise them on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) among the youth within Sunyani and Techiman Municipalities of Brong-Ahafo Region. The seminar formed part of the Association's five-year project dubbed "Big Lottery Project" being undertaken within the two Municipalities to ensure that marginalized youth are well informed on SRH issues.

Giving an overview on the Health situation within the Municipality, Dr Opare said the hospital recorded 40 HIV cases last year, 42 cases in 2004 and 19 cases in 2003.

He said more mental patients especially women were being reported at the hospital due to broken heart and anxiety.

About 207 mental cases involving women were recorded whilst 101 cases were recorded for men between 25 and 35 years.

He attributed the mental cases in men to over-indulgence in narcotic drugs and efforts were being made to rid the Municipality of mental patients and send them to psychiatric hospitals. Dr. Opare was happy that childhood diseases had reduced drastically within the Municipality and last year the hospital did not experience any child dying of measles and no poliomyelitis cases had been recorded for the past three years.

He said hospital attendance had also increased after the implementation of the Municipal Health Insurance Scheme and more pregnant women were patronizing antenatal care.

"Antenatal care has improved after the introduction of innovative antenatal health care. We now provide women health education, birth preparedness plan and men involvement plan," He added.

Dr Opare said school health activities had also been introduced and health care providers periodically visit schools to register the children and administer treatment where necessary.

He said out of the 202,000 people within the Municipality, 170,000 people attended the hospital last year as compared to 136,798 people in 2004.

Dr Opare said the hospital recorded 2,675 supervised delivery cases last year as compared to 2,696 in 2004. Mr. Akwasi Boakye-Yiadom, Programmes Manager of PPAG said there was the need for Government to set up special fund to help address SRH issues.

He called for more support from chiefs, Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Ministry of Health to join hands with the Association to educate the youth on issues affecting their health status.