Upper East improves on health delivery

Dr John Koku Awoonor-Williams
Bolgatanga, Feb. 28, GNA – The Upper East Region has over the years continued to stand tall among the ten regions when it comes to health service delivery.

The Region was adjudged the best and highest performing region in the 2012 and 2013 health sector holistic assessment.      The Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr John Koku Awoonor-Williams, made this observation in his speech made during the 2014 Annual Regional Health Sector Performance Review Meeting held in Bolgatanga, on Thursday.

He cited for instance that, the Regional HIV prevalence rate had reduced drastically from 2.1 per cent to 1.7 per cent in 2013, making the Sandema hospital Anti Retrovirus Treatment (ART) Clinic the second best in Ghana with 90 per cent of HIV clients’ retention and the Bawku Presbyterian ATR hospital Clinic the fifth with 89 per cent.

‘Indeed the Upper East Region and the Central Region were the only two regions in Ghana that obtained 100 per cent in HIV prescribing practices. TB treatment success rate over the past years have however stagnated between 89 per cent and 88 per cent. This calls for new and innovative strategies to help increase the coverage’, Dr Awoonor-Williams stated.

In the area of OPD, he said for the first time in two years, the OPD cases decreased from 2.0 per cent in 2012 to 1.8 per cent in 2014, including a decrease in hospital admission.

The Regional Director attributed the success story, partly to the reduction of malaria cases, as a result of the introduction of numerous interventions including indoor residual spraying, continuous distribution of the long lasting Insecticide Nets, as well as Clinicians adhering to the new malaria anti-drug policy of conforming malaria cases before diagnosing and the supply of RDTs to test malaria throughout the year 2014.

Under -five malaria case fatality rate, he said, had reduced over the past three years from 0.6 per cent in 2012 to 0.4 in 2014 and lauded the Bongo District for not recording any under -five deaths for the period under review.

On supervised delivery, the Regional Director said the region had the highest coverage in the country and applauded the staff, particularly midwives and Community Health Nurses.

On the issue of communicable diseases, he said there were eight confirmed cases of anthrax with five deaths in 2014 in Talensi and the Bawku West districts. There were 24 confirmed cases of measles in 2014.

The Regional Director disclosed that the Region during the year under review, recorded 289 cases of cholera with nine deaths as against the 147 cases with three deaths in 2012.

The Regional Director said despite all the interventions mapped out in 2014 to contain the outbreak of meningitis in the Region, it recorded 87 cases with seven deaths as against 135 cases with 21 deaths in 2013 and 512 cases in 2012 with 49 deaths.

‘Ironical, so many lives are being lost to CSM compared to maternal deaths. We must do more in surveillance to avoid such outbreaks and its effects on human populations’.

The Regional Director attributed the success chalked in the health sector to a lot of innovations including the Bottleneck Analysis framework, Leadership Development Programme, Sustainable Emergency Referrals, Newborn care strategies for ensuring child survivals, both at the community and the hospital levels, still birth audit, maternal death audit and the highly professional standards exhibited by the health workers.


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