Dr John Koku Awoonor- Williams, Upper East Regional Director of Health Services, has said there is the need to institute cost effective measures to ensure that targets of the Millennium Development Goals on health are achieved.

He said the consistency in ensuring cost effectiveness in the health sector would increase the ability of people to gain access to health care from health professionals and improve outcomes in terms of morbidity, disability and mortality.

He said achieving this objective needed the support of all partners and the entire health workers in the region to remain focused and redouble their efforts to continually direct their harnessed resources at the many proven cost effective community based health interventions as 2015 approached.

Dr Awoonor-Williams made this known at a half year performance review of the health directorate in Bolgatanga.

The event on the theme: ?Accelerating the Gains towards achieving MDGs? brought together development partners including UNICEF, UNFPA Heads of Departments (HoDs) and the entity of Health workers who were tasked to help the health directorate to achieve the objective as 2015 drew close.

With a focus on ensuring effective health delivery in the upper East Region, Dr Awoonor-Williams said, there was an increase in Community Health Prevention Services facilities, from 120 in 2011 to 164 in 2012 with corresponding Community health Organizations contributing to it.

He said performance indicators on disease prevention and control recorded improvement in almost all immunization coverage adding that children under five malaria case fatalities dropped from 1.2 in 2011 to 0.5 in the half year of 2012 indicating approximately 60 per cent.

He said the Out Patient Department (OPD) cases of malaria rather increased to 61.6 per cent after a consistent drop from 51.2 per cent in 2009 and 43.5 percent in 2011.

Dr Awoonor said the region had observed a significant reduction in HIV prevalence rate among pregnant women from 2.4 in 2010 to 1.5 in 2011 and called on all for more behavioural change practices and scale up of adolescent and sexual health interventions to sustain the downward trend in the prevalence rate in the region.

He expressed worry about the low patronage of family planning (FP) services, which recorded 13 per cent in 2010 and a slow increase in 2012 to 18.2 per cent.

He said the Builsa District retained the lowest at 1.6 per cent with Bawku West recording the highest uptake with 26.1 per cent.

He said the region also suffered an acute shortage of Family Planning devices such as Jadelle and Depo Provera during the year.

He said free FP was being piloted in three districts in the region to encourage patronage.

Ms Clara Dube, Chief of Office of UNICEF, congratulated the regional health directorate for the use of data in accelerating performance in the delivery of services in the region.

She expressed her gratitude for the many interventions such as the Mobile Phone technology, put in place by the directorate to improve maternal health delivery.

Mr Robert Ajene, a retired Educationist, who chaired the review meeting urged health workers to rededicate their efforts at the services they provided to achieve greater impact.

He said people tended to concentrate more on politics rather than health during the period under review and appealed to health workers to continue to put premium on the delivery of their services.

Source: GNA

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