Health News of Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Source: Mathias Aboba

Bongo District Records Zero Maternal mortality in 2013

No maternal mortality was recorded in any health facility in Bongo district in the Upper East Region during the year 2013, health authorities have reported.
According to the District Director of Health Services Juliana Akugre Anam-erime the district recorded five (5) maternal mortalities in 2010, four (4) in 2011 and six (6) in 2012. Madam Juliana Akugre noted that the remarkable achievement of zero maternal mortality in 2013 was made possible through improvement in emergency referral, skilled delivery, ante natal and post natal services, strict compliance with the use of partograph for the prevention of prolonged labor and the promotion of family planning among others.
The District Director of Health made this known in her address to participants at a two-day forum organized for the review of Health Sector Performance in the Bongo district for 2013. She said all health workers in the district were happy that their efforts, hard work and determination to improve health care delivery to the population were beginning to pay off.
She told the participants of health staff, heads of government departments and agencies, NGOs in health and other partners that, the year 2013 will go down in the history of the Health Service in Bongo District as one of the most remarkable years. “Last year was one of the difficult years for the service: we began the year with a lot of challenges ranging from shortage of midwives, medical doctors, staff accommodation, inadequate funds etc, but with innovations and positive mind attitude for success we managed to make a lot of impact.
Through the cost free family planning initiative the district was able to increase family planning acceptors from 5563 in 2012 to 6845 in 2013. The number of couples protected from unwanted pregnancies also increased from 8008.5 in 2012 to 8597.4 in 2013.
The District Director said the support of the Ghana Essential Health Intervention Program (GEHIP) which over the years has enhanced human resource capacity in the district as well as increased and sustained the availability of basic medical logistics, monitoring and supervision continues to play key role in the improvement of service quality and access. Commenting on emergency referral service in the District Madam Juliana Akugre revealed that the scaling-up of the Motor-king Referral under the Sustainable Emergency Referral Care initiative from one sub-district to the entire district brought great relief for referral challenges. She said a total of 496 made of 243 maternal cases, 135 under 5s and 117 others cases were referred from lower to higher level facilities using the 12 motor-king ambulances strategically distributed across the district. Madam Julian Akugre commended the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (USA) and Comic Relief (UK) for funding these interventions.
She also commended the District Assembly for supporting the construction of CHPS compounds and rehabilitation of other infrastructure for the expansion of health care delivery.
Whilst appealing for support for improvement in road network and water and sanitation situation in the district, Madam Juliana reaffirmed the commitment of the health service to offer quality, affordable and accessible health care to the population. She attributed the district’s low performance in TB case detection and childhood immunization to its proximity to Ghana’s neighbor, Burkina Faso which makes easy lose such clients. She however indicated the service willingness to map out strategies to manage the problem.
The Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area; Naba Salifu Baba Alem-yaaron through a representative praised the District Health Director and her staff for their hard work and called on them to do more to improve the health status of the people.
The District Chief Executive for Bongo, Hon Alex Ayamdor pledged the assembly’s commitment to partner the Ghana Health Service to reduce the burden of disease and poverty in the area. He revealed that the assembly was working to secure an ambulance from the National Ambulance Service to the district to boost emergency referrals. The Assembly according to the DCE was also keen at relocating the district hospital and land has been acquired for this purpose with the aim to be able to expand the facility to cater for the increasing population.
Two health staff: Elizabeth Ayanoore Akologo, a Community Health Officer (CHO) at Balungo CHPS and Freda Alore, a Midwife at Feo CHPS were awarded Best CHO and Best Midwife of the year respectively. For their prizes, they each received a citation and microwave ovens.