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Health News of Friday, 1 February 2008

Source: GNA

East Akim district records high HIV/AIDS figures

Kyebi (E/R), Feb. 1, GNA - The East Akim District Director of Health Service, Mrs Eunice Abuaku has expressed concern about the high figures being recorded for HIV positive cases in the district. She said out of 271 people screened for HIV/AIDS in 2006, 138 tested positive, while last year, 214 tested positive out of 526 people screened.

Mrs Abuaku was speaking at the 2007 East Akim District Health Directorate Performance Review Meeting at Kyebi on Friday. She said during the year under review, the district was able to increase its Tuberculosis (TB) cure rate from 52.4 per cent the previous year to 62 per cent with a low default rate of 13 per cent compared to 2006 figure of 23.8 per cent.

Mrs Abuaku said the district achieved this feat through the introduction of community-based care where a TB patient confined in a member of the community who kept their drugs and ensured that the drugs were taken regularly.

Under the programme the district also introduced a package called "enablers package" under which the TB patient was given food package consisting rice, tins of fish, Milo and milk to enable the patient to have a balance diet.

She said the district reduced maternal death from seven in 2006 to four in 2007 by organizing durbars in high incidence communities to explain to them causes of such deaths and how to prevent them. Mr Abuaku said the communities were also being educated on dangers of risk-associated pregnancy and abortion, which were also followed with home visits and meetings with Traditional Birth Attendants. She said similar educative programmes were organized for opinion leaders such as chiefs, Councils of Churches, transport unions and Assembly members in the fight against maternal and infant mortality. The East Akim District Chief Executive, Mr Emmanuel Victor Asihene, called on hospitals in the district to use their incomes from under the health insurance scheme to improve upon their services. He said he did not understand while patients on admission still had to provide their own plates and cups because the hospital could not provide them with such materials.

The Deputy District Environmental Officer, Mr Joseph William Mensah, called for the rehabilitation of a slaughter slab at New Tafo to encourage the consumption of fresh meat by the community. He said his department had plans to phase out the use of pan latrines in the district by 92 per cent this year, adding that landlords were being supported to convert their pan latrines to KVIP. The District Fire Officer, Mr Agyepong Dwemoh said the district fire station was without a fire tender and therefore appealed to institutions in the area to take precautions against incidental fires.

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