General News of Saturday, 4 August 2012

Source: GNA

Death figures in Upper West Region are frightening - Minister

The Upper West Region has recorded 663 deaths within the past six months and it is feared that the figure will double by the end of the year, if care is not taken.

The region recorded similar figures of 586 and 639 in 2010 and 2011 respectively, some of which could have been averted if maximum care was observed, Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, Upper West Regional Minister said this at the 2011 Upper West Regional Health Performance review in Wa, on Thursday.

He said deaths through motor accidents were equally frightening and appealed to the security agencies, especially the Ghana Police to rise up to the task and stem the tide.

He appealed to the health authorities in the region to continue educating their staff riders and drivers, especially at the service delivery points to change their attitudes on the road.

Alhaji Sulemana said the health sector would not relent in providing adequate infrastructure, equipment and transport, to enhance healthcare delivery.

He said despite some challenges the health sector in the region faces, it had made several positive strides over the years, especially in the areas of skilled deliveries, containment of outbreaks and surveillance of communicable diseases.

He urged the regional and district authorities to double their efforts to enable the sub-districts to be functional, to deliver on their core mandate.

“The sub-districts are the action points as they deliver services directly to the people and all efforts must be directed at supporting them in terms of equipment, infrastructure, personnel and capacity building to enable them to achieve the desired results.

“The unacceptable numbers of maternal and neonatal deaths in the region are a pointer to the weakness of our heath institutions and especially the sub-districts which must be addressed”, Alhaji Sulemana said.

He however, commended the Ghana Health Service for instituting a leadership development programme that sought to enhance the capacity of managers at all levels of the health service delivery.

He suggested that priority be given to those at the sub-districts, especially remote areas where accessibility and transportation affect referrals, so that cases could be effectively handled in those areas.

Alhaji Sulemana said modern health service delivery was a shared responsibility and appealed to all actors to take keen interest and support players in the sector.

Dr. Kofi Issah, Deputy Upper West Regional Director of Health Service, said for the rest of the year, the sector would continue to strengthen the human resource base of sub-districts by ensuring that the new polyclinics provided adequate services to the people.

He said sustaining disease control and surveillance, and carrying out mass vaccination campaigns for targeted diseases, ensuring clinical audits and the use of protocols and referral systems as well as coaching in clinical skills would also be improved.

He said the regional directorate would link up with training schools to build capacity in new updates of health programmes in the region and provide support systems such as logistics management and scheduled delivery as well as equipment and transport management.**