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Health News of Saturday, 9 February 2008

Source: GNA

Malaria tops OPD attendance in Mfantseman

Saltpond (C/R), Feb. 9, GNA - The Mfantseman District Health Directorate recorded 29,937 cases of malaria in health facilities in the District in 2007 as against 14,621 cases in 2006 to top cases reported at the Out Patient Departments (OPDs). Skin and diarrhoea diseases followed with 2,080 and 2,054 cases respectively.

Mr Samuel Sosi, District Director of the Ghana Health Service, who announced this at the Directorate's Annual Performance Review for 2007 at Saltpond, said OPD attendance at government health facilities alone rose to 69,412 from 38,717 in 2006.

Mr Sosi said the District, with a population of 176,791 people had 22 health facilities out of which nine were private. He noted with concern that the top OPD cases were connected with non-observance of environmental and personal hygiene, despite efforts by the District Assembly to improve sanitation in the area. Mrs Margaret Morrison, of the Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Unit, expressed concern about the preference of pregnant women to deliver at the homes of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) instead of at qualified health facilities. She said 2,570 deliveries were made by TBAs as against 2,403 in health facilities in 2007

Mrs Morrison said three maternal deaths were recorded in April 2007 when the Directorate signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Driver's Unions to impress upon their members to convey women in labour to health facilities without first insisting on payment before services were rendered.

Miss Helena Tibiru, District Disease Control Officer said the District recorded 177 cases of HIV/AIDS with 11 deaths in 2007 as against 96 in the previous year. She said 110 cases of tuberculosis (TB) were recorded in the year as against 122 in 2006.

According to the Disease Control Officer, no cases of cholera were recorded. Mrs Ophelia Adu, District Nutrition Officer appealed to mothers to give their children balanced diet as most of them were at the risk of malnutrition. She said vitamin A was administered to 35,778 children between the ages of 6-59 months last year.

Mr Robert Quainoo-Arthur, District Chief Executive, in a speech enumerated measures being taken to keep the people healthy. They included the supply of potable water through expansion of the Baifikrom Water System, the provision of infrastructure for health facilities and the engagement of Zoomlion, a private waste management company to assist in improving sanitation in the District. 9 Feb. 08

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