Busua (W/R), Feb. 11, GNA - The Medical and Dental Council of Ghana has accredited the Effia-Nkwanta Regional Hospital at Sekondi to train housemen in surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, Mr Joseph Boahene Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, announced on Friday.
The announcement was contained in an address read for him by Mr Philip Kwesi Nkrumah, Shama-Ahanta East Metropolitan Chief Executive, at the 2005 Annual Performance Review Meeting of the Regional Ghana Health Service (GHS) at Busua, near Takoradi.
The meeting was on the theme: "Quality Data for Enhanced Performance".
Mr Aidoo urged the staff of the Hospital to work harder in order to gain accreditation in other disciplines such as medicine and paediatrics.
He said malaria continued to be the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in the Region, accounting for 44.4 percent of out-patient attendance, 23.4 percent of hospital admissions and 17.2 percent of deaths.
Mr Aidoo said: "We have to intensify the fight against malaria by using cost-effective bed nets and intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in pregnancy".
Mr Aidoo urged district directors of health to liaise with the district assemblies to implement preventive measures using the one percent of the District Assembly Common Fund earmarked for malaria. He said the Global Fund had allocated 1.2 billion cedis to the Region to employ specific malaria control activities and further urged district health directors to ensure judicious use of Global Funds for malaria control programmes.
Mr Aidoo said Reproductive and Child Health Services saw some improvements in 2005 and school health coverage also increased from 33.4 percent to 55 percent.
He said: "There were drops in performance for supervised delivery and family planning".
Mr Aidoo said antenatal coverage ranged from 58 percent in the Mpohor Wassa East District to 123.3 percent in the Aowin-Suaman District.
He said despite the high antenatal care coverage, low skilled supervised delivery rates remained a major constraint to be overcome in the Region and maternal mortality was unacceptably high. He said teenage pregnancy was on the increase and the Region had a high rate of 18.1 percent. The Jomoro District recorded the highest teenage pregnancy rate.
Mr Aidoo urged the District Health Team to develop innovative strategies to help reduce the high teenage pregnancy rate in the area.
Mr Aidoo announced that 13 out the 14 Mutual Health Schemes in the Region had taken off and had started offering benefits to registered clients.
He said it only the Scheme in the Wassa Amenfi East District was yet to offer benefits to the people. Dr Sylvester Anemana, Regional Director of Health, said 2005 institutional data showed that maternal death was on the increase in the Region and that every maternal death would be investigated to find solution to the problem.
Dr Anemana said poor road network in rural communities, the lack of equipment and logistics affected outreach programmes. He said the lack of adequate medical staff and accommodation also affected health delivery in some areas. Dr Anemana said the Regional GHS would improve access to health facilities, facilitate the National Health Insurance Scheme and outreach programmes this year.
He said Safe Motherhood project and Family Services would also be strengthened.
Dr Anemana said nurses in the Region were not leaving the service for greener pastures as before but many nurses were aged and would soon retire.
He said there were plans to open more nursing training colleges and increase the intake into existing ones. 11 Feb. 06