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31.03.2006 Health

Use CHPS to reduce pressure on health facilities

By GNA

Saltpond (C/R), March 31, GNA - The government has been urged to promote the Community Health Planning Service (CHPS) concept to reduce the load on health facilities following the National health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Mr Edward Adimazoya, Advocacy Team Leader of Ghana Sustainable Change Project (GSCP), a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded non-governmental organisation (NGO), who made the call said for people to have easy access to health services CHPS compounds must be established in areas without health facilities. Mr Adimazoya made the call at a three-day workshop on the National Communication Strategy for Malaria in Ghana and the New Malaria Drug Policy for 26 stakeholders in the Mfantseman District at Saltpond. They included health workers, traditional authorities, representatives of NGOs, Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Mr Adimazoya expressed concern about the low media coverage of malaria programmes and described it as a "barrier to the prevention and treatment of the disease".

The media should play a proactive role in educating the people on the new malaria drug policy, which recommended the use of Artesunate-Amodiaquine for the front line treatment of malaria", he stated.

Mr Adimazoya urged the media to sensitise the people on the need to protect pregnant women and children under the age of five who were mostly vulnerable to the disease through the use of Insecticide Treated Net (ITN) and receiving Intermittent Preventive Treatment (IPT). They should also educate the people on how to manage the environment to destroy the breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Mrs Charlotte Acquah, Capacity Building Specialist of GSCP, called for collaboration between the District Health Directorate, the District Assembly, Civil Society Organisations and NGOs in the health sector to avoid duplication of activities and rivalry.

Mrs Acquah said they should realise they were working towards the same goal and harness their resources for results. She urged malaria patients to seek early treatment and advised husbands to accompany their wives and children to health facilities for treatment.

Some of the topics treated included the process for development of the strategy, new drug policy, communication approach, approach, current and desired behaviour, key messages and channels advocacy. The District Chief Executive, Mr Robert Quainoo-Arthur, commended the organisers for their efforts to reduce malaria in the district and appealed to the participants to take workshop seriously.

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