Efforts at reducing malaria in the Ashanti Region continue to struggle with the disease topping out-patient department (OPD) admissions at the health facilities, and the leading cause of death among children under the age of five, Dr Alexis Nang-Beifubah, the regional health director, has said.
The control strategies over the years had involved health education on the disease and environmental sanitation, distribution of insecticide treated nets (ITNs), chemoprophylaxis, prompt treatment and research.
Dr Nang-Beifubah said they had intensified malaria rapid diagnostic test (MRDT) used to separate febrile illness from the malaria disease, something, he said was tremendously helping to improve treatment.
He was speaking at the three-day annual performance review meeting of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in Kumasi themed:
‘Approaching The Finishing Line of The MDGs, Doing Things Differently’.
Dr Nang-Beifubah admitted that the past year was a difficult one fraught with challenges, but that notwithstanding, they were able to make some progress towards enhancing the quality of care.
He said significant reduction in maternal deaths and still birth rate were achieved through improved ante-natal care and family planning acceptance.
He also spoke of progress in seamless services, telemedicine, non-communicable diseases awareness creation, including cervical and breast cancers.
On the best practices, he said the Regional Medical Store had now been insured, and that high fire safety standard was also being maintained.
He touched on training programmes under the Millennium Accelerated Framework (MAF) for midwives and community health nurses, and said this focused on ante-natal care, comprehensive family planning and life saving skills.
Dr Nang-Beifubah identified inadequate funds, unpaid electricity bills, insurance capitation, lack of vehicles and the inadequate number of critical staff, as some of the major hurdles.
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