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13.02.2006 Health

Focus on preventive health - DCE

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Saltpond Feb 13, GNA - The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Mfantseman, Mr Robert Quainoo-Arthur, has called for emphasis on preventive health as a means of reducing curative health delivery. Speaking at a review meeting of the district directorate of the Ghana Health Service at Saltpond, the DCE expressed concern about poor environmental sanitation in the communities and urged the staff of health facilities to help in promoting good sanitation.

"Promoting good sanitation should not be seen as the responsibility of environmental health officers alone," the DCE stressed. He said the District Assembly had distributed six refuse containers to some communities to enhance refuse collection and had acquired dumping site near Saltpond, adding that there were plans to acquire similar sites for other communities.

Reviewing the performance of the Health directorate for 2005, Mr Samuel Sosi, the District Director said the Ghana Health Service was managing one hospital, four health centres and two clinics while the private sector had one hospital and seven clinics in the area. He said the District had been divided into four sub-districts namely Essuehyia, Anomabo, Otuam and Dominase. Mr Sosi said Essuehyia recorded 4809 OPD attendance in 2005 as against 2491 in 2004.

Anomabo recored 6787 attendance as against 7934 in 2004, Otuam 3392 as compared to 4155 the previous year, and Dominase 4552 as against 5097 last year.

He said that the directorate was poised on intensifying monitoring and support visits to all health facilities in the District, improve relationship with all partners and improve community involvement in health activities this year.

Mr Francis Zuradam Saareson, District Disease Control Officer, said malaria was the major disease in the district. He said 99771 malaria cases were recorded in 2004 but the number had risen to 152,796 in 2005.

Mr Saareson said the district recorded one cholera case in 2005 as against zero recorded in 2004.

Meningitis also one as against zero the previous year and recorded 25 measles cases as against 49 in 2004. He said guinea worm had been eradicated in the district adding that no had been reported for the past three years.

Mr Saareson said 172 cases of tuberculosis (TB) were recorded in 2005 out of which five died and appealed to relatives to encourage their patients to continue treatment. He said the District recorded 82 HIV cases during the year under review out of which two were from Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese and Ajumako-Enyan Essiam District.

Mr Saareson mentioned discrepancies in surveillance data, poor documentation, delay in submitting reports, inadequate supervision of community-based surveillance volunteers and inadequate report leading to poor access service as some of the challenges facing the Disease Control Unit.

Mr Hayford Frimpong, the Saltpond District hospital administrator said the facility recorded six maternal deaths in the year under review as against one the previous year. He said 65 major and 412 minor operations were performed in 2005. The Administrator said malaria topped Out Patent Department (OPD) cases with 4,330 cases followed by hypertension, 475 and diarrhoea, 326 while malaria topped causes of admission by 1675, followed by anaemia 382, diarrhoea, 238 and hypertension, 199. He said 48 people died of malaria, 27 of anaemia and 16 from hypertension.

Mr Frimpong said 153 cases were recorded at the diabetic clinic and added that most of the cases were non-insulin dependent diabetes. He said the eye clinic, which was manned by an ophthalmic nurse who was posted to the district in August 2005, recorded 123 cases, 68 new cases and 55 old ones within four months. The Administrator said there was 90 per cent availability of essential drug at the hospital and added that procurement procedures were complied with.

He said the hospital conducted two satisfactory quality assurance surveys within the year under review and hosted a successful regional peer review, which was described by the visitors as impressive. He mentioned frequent power outage, lack of permanent anaesthetist, unwillingness of volunteers to donate blood and the dusty nature of the hospital due to bad roads leading to the place and poor water supply as some of the challenges facing the hospital. 13 Feb 06