A Non-Governmental Organization(NGO) , operating in northern Ghana and known as Meta Foundation, has been commended for complementing the effort of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to undertake activities to mark this year’s Child Health Promotion Week(CHPW) in the Upper East Region.
The CHPW instituted by the GHS in 2004 aimed at scaling up a number of priority interventions to reverse the morbidity and mortality trends in the country is marked in the second week of May every year, aimed at creating the awareness and intensifying efforts to increase knowledge, improve health coverage for children especially those who would not usually be covered under the normal routine outreach services.
The NGO apart from contributing financial resources for monitoring and supervision of nurses carrying the health activities in the health facilities in the region , also took part in the monitoring and supervision activity, built the capacity of eighty- four volunteers to conduct home visits to promote exclusive breastfeeding , encouraged mothers and women in labour to go for antenatal and post-natal services at the various health facilities, encouraged parents to register their new born babies with the Department of Birth and Death as well organized health talks using the community radio.
Mr Rexford King James Adjei, the Regional Health Promotion Officer of the GHS, made the commendation during joint monitoring visits by some of the Senior Staff of the Regional Health Directorate of the GHS and some staff of the NGO to some health facilities in the Builsa North and the Nabdam Districts in the Region.
The Regional Health Promotion Officer who expressed happiness about the high turnout for the five day event , commended the NGO for its contribution towards the event , and appealed to other development partners and Corporate bodies to support the GHS in delivering quality health care to women and children so as to help Ghana fast-track the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
He stated that Community members need much information on health to enable them to access health care services affectively, but mentioned that one of the major challenges facing the Regional and District Health Directorates was inadequate funding undertake Social Mobilization and community activities to empower the communities with health information.
Among some of the health facilities the team visited included the Sadema District Health Hospital , the Chuchuliga Sub District Health facility, Achanyire Goayie CHPs Compound where majority of mothers with children under the five years were seen accessing essential services including immunization against childhood diseases , vitamin A supplementation , weighing of children, giving bed nets to children aged below 18 months, conducting of free birth registration for babies under 1 year, receiving advice on exclusive breast feeding and complimentary feeding through demonstrations.
Mr Aboziah Ernest , the District Health Promotion Officer in charge of the Builsa North , attributed the success story of this year’s event to the high level of the awareness creation embarked by the NGO in many of the communities through sensitization and community radio.
“Unlike before, it was very difficult getting people to register their newborn babies with the Department of Birth and Registry , but now many parents are now patronizing the services. This will provide reliable and accurate data for proper planning and programme implementation. We are also happy that the NGO through community durbars is engaging with the communities to stop negative cultural practices such as early marriages and open defecation which have health implication “ , he stated
The Programme Manager of the Foundation, Mr David Amozebega, said Health, Sanitation and Agriculture were among the core mandate of his outfit and indicated the NGO in collaboration with the GHS, the Birth and Death Registry, the traditional authorities, opinion leaders and assembly members with support from UNICEF- Ghana was implementing a – one- year project dubbed: “Sustaining Human Progress and Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience,” in 80 communities in the Builsa North and the Nabdam Districts of the Region , aimed at the promotion of skill delivery at health facilities, exclusive breastfeeding promoting of birth registration, ending child and forced marriages, increase in school enrolment among others.
This year’s theme: “Healthy Child, Start Right, Do It Right for Total Growth and Development” is aimed at improving access and efficiency in service delivery, quality of care and increase coverage of children under the ages of five.