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Health News of Sunday, 2 March 2014

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Kumbugu District reduces child mortality

Big gains have been made in child health care in the Kpilo community in the Kumbugu district in the Northern Region following the introduction of the Integrated Community Case Management (ICCM) programme.

The ICCM programme funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in partnership with UNICEF and implemented by the Ghana Health Services has trained community based agents to offer health care to children between the ages of six months and five years who do not have access to any health facility.

These volunteers without formal education have acquired skills in identifying and treating ailments such as malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea.

The project which started in 2007 is now been implemented in 26 districts in the Northern Region to help bridge the gap in health care delivery.

It is estimated that 33 percent of over 6.6 million children under five who die each year around the world die of pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria.

In Ghana three quarters of under-five deaths are due to these ailments but with the correct treatment it is the surest interventions to reduce child mortality.

It is against this background that the ICCM project has trained volunteers across the Northern Region to treat these killer diseases among children.

Mr Abukari Alhassan Assistant coordinator of the integrated community case management programe described the intervention as very important.

He said most communities in the Northern Region were cut off by streams and rivers making those areas inaccessible but the agents worked hard to serve all communities.

Mr. Alhassan said the agents help the Ministry of Health to prevent disease in the communities.

Awabu Mahama, one of the volunteers in an interaction with Joy FM said a child who had malaria will normally have high temperature and that can be ascertained by touching the body of the child, adding in some cases some of the children will have yellowish eyes.

Awabu said if it is diarrhea if you pinch the child it takes a while before the skin returns back to normal.

In testing for pneumonia they have been trained to use to study the heart beat, she explained.