Madam Pheobe Balagumyetime, Jirapa District Director of Health Services, has said health financing remains a huge challenge to the district as budgetary allocations has not only kept dwindling but was also erratic.

Madam Balagumyetime said this during the 2017 half year performance review meeting in Jirapa in the Jirapa District of the Upper West Region.

She said the situation has seriously affected the planning and implementation process in the year under review.

“The district currently relies on the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)”, she said, adding that the dilemma now confronting the district was how to deal with the complexities of service delivery strategies and the challenges of ensuring that the limited resources available were targeted at public health priorities.

“As a result, the district carried out activities in an integrated manner and concentrated on areas that will have the most impact on the health service indicators”, Madam Balagumyetime said.

She said the year under review saw remarkable improvement in their staffing situation especially with midwives and Registered General Nurses, except in case of medical doctors and physician assistants.

“The District is endowed with over 50 midwives some of whom have been assigned to Community-Based Health Planning Services (CHPS) zones to help increase access to skilled delivery”, she said.

The District Director of Health Services said with the support services, they have renovated a few facilities through the IGF but are currently saddled with inadequate staff accommodation which has made it virtually impossible for them to accept newly posted staff especially to the sub-districts.

She said comparatively, the utilization of facilities decreased this year with total Out Patient Department (OPD) attendance of 33,325 and an attendance per capita of 0.6691 compared to a total OPD attendance of 45,864 with an attendance per capita of 0.91 for last year.

“Malaria continues to be nagging a problem accounting for 25.6 per cent of total OPD attendance”, she said.

Madam Balagumyetime said the district made modest achievements in the expanded programme on immunization, reproductive and child health and nutrition but did not meet the targets, saying the reason for this anomaly were the unrealistic population figures given to them coupled with high migration rates in the western zone.

Two maternal deaths were recorded this year compared to one in 2016, she said, and called on all stakeholders to marshal efforts to help curb the growing menace.

Madam Balagumyetime said in spite of the modest achievements and challenges, the district also succeeded in presenting some good practices at the CHPS Zones level some of which have been documented and published.

The Jirapa District Director of Health Services commended all development partners in the district especially CAPECS for supporting the half year review meeting.

This year’s half year performance review meeting was held under the theme: “Using Quality Data for Evidence-Based Planning; the Role of Frontline Workers”.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh