Health News of Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Professor Kwadwo Djang- Forjour, Rector of the Sunyani Polytechnic has reiterated the need for hygiene to be taught in schools to ensure quality health and a clean environment.
He suggested that it could be achieved with the institution of awards and prizes by the educational authorities for the cleanest schools, as a motivational factor to encourage the teaching, learning and best practices of hygiene.
Prof. Djang-Forjour was speaking at the open of the 2012 annual performance review meeting of the Brong-Ahafo Regional Health Services, under the theme: “Accountability for Improvement of Health Outcomes” on Tuesday, in Sunyani.
The three day meeting is being attended by 230 participants, including District Health Directors, members of District Health Management Teams, Hospital Management Teams and representatives of health training institutions in the region.
Others include members of Civil Society Organisations and Development Partners, as well as some Directors from the headquarters of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).
The meeting was meant for stock taking on the performance of the numerous health strategies and interventions to identify and address challenges and chart the course for the ensuing year and beyond.
The Rector observed that issues of health had a direct relationship with the environmental situation of the country, saying that, food vendors selling their stuffs close to open gutters, some of which were filled with faecal matters, contributed to the poor health situation of the country.
Prof. Djang-Forjour catalogued other environmental challenges such as cattle drinking from gutters and streams and eating on dump sites, cases of malaria, elephantiasis and guinea worm confronting the country.
Issues like drug abuse and teenage pregnancies, meat inspection, certification and declaration as wholesome for consumption and pollution of rivers and streams through galamsey (illegal mining) operations were all bedevilling the country, he added.
The Rector stressed that those were challenging issues of the environment determining the quality and state of health or otherwise of the populace and therefore challenged the meeting in particular and National Health Authorities in general to give them due consideration.
Dr. Timothy Letsa, Regional Director of Health Services, in a welcome address, said the region introduced two new vaccines, Rota 2 and Pneumo 2 into the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) to reduce the incidence of Diarrhoea and Pneumonia in children under five years.
He said the region also distributed and fixed up 1.3 million pieces of Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Bed Nets supplied by the National Malaria Control Programme, with support from the Department of Foreign and International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom and the UNICEF.
Dr. Letsa announced that the region’s performance in the distribution of the nets was assessed to be the best nationwide and therefore praised the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Chiefs, Opinion Leaders and field Volunteers for their immense support.