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Health News of Friday, 29 February 2008

Source: GNA

Dzamesi says Health Insurance is a lasting legacy

Ho, Feb. 29, (GNA) - The Health Insurance Scheme "is one huge legacy that the government will leave for Ghana till perhaps the end of time", Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister, has said.

"There is no doubt that by now people have seen the goodness of the scheme. This is a colossal achievement for which the government deserves a pat on the back", he said at the inauguration of the Volta Regional and District Health Committees in Ho on Thursday.

Mr. Dzamesi appealed to those who have not yet joined the scheme to do so and told scheme managers not only to work hard to ensure maximum coverage in the region but also live above reproach, be honest and ensure strict compliance with the tenets of the scheme. The committees are to advise the Regional Director of Health Services in the performance of his or her functions and carry out any other functions that the GHS Council may assign to them in the region in the next three years.

Mr Dzamesi urged members of the committees to appreciate the challenges facing health institutions and communities and partner those institutions in their areas to provide quality health care for their people.

Dr Andrew Arde-Acquah, Volta Regional Director of Health Services, said the provision of good health to the citizenry required inputs from people of diverse backgrounds and competencies hence the formation of the Committees.

"We are asking them to relate to us as the representation of all our stakeholders and shareholders and customers in health care", Dr Arde-Acquah said.

GHS in the Volta Region has posted improvements in some major public health areas in 2007, Dr Andrew Arde-Acquah said at the 2007 review conference of Health Managers in the region. Guinea worm cases declined from 86 in 2006 to 22 in 2007 while HIV prevalence among pregnant women in the region fell from 3.2 percent in 2006 to 2.0 in 2007.

Antenatal Clinic attendance rose to 87.1 percent in 2007 down from 84 percent in 2006, while reported maternal deaths fell from 65 in 2006 to 57 in 2007.

Expanded Programme of Immunization (EPI) coverage for measles rose from 71.1 percent in 2006 to 79.0 percent in 2007, BCG from 85.5 percent in 2006 to 98.0 percent in 2007.

Dr Arde-Acquah mentioned some challenges during the period as "completely stalled capital projects, severe shortfall in government budgetary allocation to districts, ageing staff especially midwives and medical assistants and health training institutions are unable to meet demands for intake".

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