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Regional News of Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Source: GNA

School kids to enjoy improved health care services

School children in the Kumasi Metropolis would from now receive health care services in their schools, Dr Akwasi Yeboah-Awudzi, the Metropolitan Director of Health Service, has said.

He said a team of health professionals in eye, ear, nose and throat (ENT) as well as other specialized nurses would be sent to the schools to regularly examine and treat pupils. There are also plans to attach clinics to some of the cluster schools.

Dr Yeboah-Awudzi, addressing an end of year performance review meeting of the Metropolitan Health Directorate in Kumasi, said these were part of measures to help bring down child morbidity and mortality and improve the general health status of children.

He said they would assign community health nurses to all electoral areas to ensure that every child below the age of two years was immunized.

All midwives are also to receive training in the management of hypertension and eclampsis, the leading cause of maternal deaths in the metropolis.

Dr Yeboah-Awudzi repeated the call on the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) to speed up plans to hold a stakeholders meeting to review the health insurance capitation, which is being piloted in the Ashanti Region.

He said the NHIA should additionally act quickly to reimburse health facilities in the metropolis of all outstanding claims in order to improve health delivery. The claims had been in arrears since August 2012.

He said the payments delay, coupled with the inability of the government to provide financial assistance was affecting the smooth operations of the public health facilities.

Dr Yeboah-Awudzi expressed worry about the incidence of maternal deaths, which continue to show no sign of decline. The metropolis recorded 495 deaths per 100,000 live-births in year 2012 compared with the 2011’s figure of 406 deaths per 100,000 live-births.

Even though malaria cases went down from 448,642 in 2011 to 343,074 in 2012, it continued to top out-patient cases in the public hospitals.

He attributed the reduction in malaria to the free distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated nets and the introduction of the Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RPTs), which had improved the management of the disease.

Dr Yeboah-Awudzi said there was the need to re-equip district health facilities to reduce congestion at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).

He said discussions were underway to get some specialist doctors in KATH to offer locum services at night in the sub-metro health facilities in order to bring down referral cases and deaths, especially maternal cases.

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