Sunyani, Feb. 21, GNA – The Brong Ahafo Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service recorded 76 cases of maternal deaths in 2011 as against 66 cases the previous year.

The proportion of supervised delivery, however, increased from 56 per cent to 62 per cent, while family planning acceptors dropped from 39.7 per cent to 36.5 per cent during the period under review.

Dr Timothy Letsa, Regional Director of Health Service made this known at the 2011 annual performance meeting of the directorate in Sunyani on Tuesday, on the theme: “Strengthening quality of care through improving data management: Moving from action to results.”

He said in the area of disease control and surveillance there were outbreak of yellow fever in Pru District and Techiman Municipality, as well as cholera in Atebubu/Amantin District.

Dr Letsa emphasised the need for the intensification of disease surveillance activities in the region with particular emphasis on clinical and community sensitisation on integrated disease surveillance.

The regional director commended the district and hospital management teams for their support and encouraged them to worker harder to enable the directorate to achieve the anticipated targets set for this year.

Mr Eric Opoku, Deputy Regional Minister, emphasised government’s unflinching support to support initiatives in the health sector that would help reduce maternal and child mortality, HIV and AIDS and other contemporary health challenges to the barest minimum.

He noted that despite some constraints, the regional health service chalked out remarkable successes in some critical areas, indicating that in 2011 the directorate did not record any cases of guinea worm and polio.

Mr Opoku said HIV and AIDS prevalence dropped from 2.6 per cent to 2.0 per cent while incidence of malaria as the cause of Out Patient Department (OPD) attendance also dropped from 47 per cent to 33.3 per cent during the period.

He said out-patient per capita increased from 1.0 per cent to 1.34 per cent, implying that every person had the chance to visit a health facility, he added.

Mr Opoku said the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) had increased its client coverage from 1,460,655 in 2009 to 2,175,270 in 2011, representing a percentage increase of 48.93 and 95.32 per cent of the regional population of 2,282,128.

He said the educational campaign on the NHIS should be stepped up and sustained to enable more people to register with the scheme.

On the upcoming general election, the minister admonished all health professionals to stay politically neutral as enjoined by their code of conduct.

Mr Opoku advised eligible voters to take advantage of the biometric registration exercise, which would commence in March 24 year to enable them to exercise their franchise during the presidential and parliamentary elections.

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