Ghana To Be Guinea Worm Free By June 2011.
Dr. Akwasi Twumasi, the Northern Regional Director of Ghana Health Service has indicated that, the country will be declared free from guinea worm disease in June this year, if the current successes chalked continue unimpeded.
He said the region, which is the hub of the disease had recorded only eight cases for 2010 and had not recorded any case of the disease for about eight months, with the last case being May 11 2010. Dr. Twumasi was speaking in Tamale on Wednesday during the opening ceremony of a three-day annual performance review of the Ghana Health Service in the Northern Region.
The performance review, which attracted various directors and staff from the 20 districts of the region, would take stock of their performances in the year 2010.
It was under the theme; 93Using information for better decisions towa= rds effective staff support and supervision to achieve MDG 4 and 5". He said the guinea worm disease had reduced from 237 in 2009 to eight, adding that, there was the optimism that we 91almost won' because of the sustained efforts of the staff and the collaborators.
He commended them for their efforts and announced an award scheme of GHc100 to any one who would report any suspected case of the disease. Dr. Twumasi said malaria continues to be the number one cause of OPD attendance, accounting for 48.3 per cent of the 36,969 cases, and that typhoid fever was also among the top ten cases of OPD. He said the region recorded a total of 1,040 cases of snake bites and expressed worry that the situation was getting serious due to the activitie= s of shea nut pickers.
He appealed to the people to protect themselves when picking the shea nuts to prevent snake bites.
He noted that, despite improvements in the various healthcare delivery institutions in the region, maternal mortality was still a major problem, with 81 maternal deaths in 2010 as against 96 in 2009. Dr. Twumasi expressed worry that the region continued to be unattractive to health personnel, saying that out, out of the 11 doctors posted to the region, only two reported, with two pharmacists reporting instead of three.
He said the establishment of four Health Training Schools in the regio= n had boosted the staff strength of the auxiliary nurses who, had contributed significantly to health delivery but expressed dissatisfaction about the inadequate residential accommodation for the staff.
Madam Hajia Hajara Telly, Chairperson for the occasion appealed to the GHS to collaborate with the Information Services Department and the Commission for Civic Education to sensitize the general public on various ways of living healthy, especially in the rural areas.
She expressed worry that, despite efforts being undertaken by the government and the GHS, the country still experiences high maternal deaths and called for more efforts to combat the menace.
Alhaji Haruna Friday, the Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive pledged the support of the assembly to assist in providing residential accommodatio= n to health workers and commended the efforts of the health workers at delivery good service but was quick to add that the attitude of some of the health workers was unacceptable.