Health services in Bolgatanga Municipality improves Bolgatanga Jan. 25, GNA The Bolgatanga Municipal Health Directorate says its programmes carried out in 2011 fared better than those in previous years.

Some of the programmes given special attention included detection and cure of Tuberculosis (TB), Expanded Programme of Immunization  (EPI) , Malaria Control, HIV/AIDS, Reproductive Health and Nutrition.

Speaking at an annual review meeting organised to take stock of the performance of the Municipal Health Services against set targets on Wednesday, Ms Joyce K Bagina, Municipal Director of Health Services, said the detection rate of TB increased from 79.2 per cent in 2010 to 82.9 per cent in 2011, exceeding the national target of 70 per cent while the death rate reduced from 13.8 per cent in 2010 to 5.2 per cent in 2011.

She said apart from Measles and Yellow Fever, there has been significant increase in the coverage of all antigens from 2010 to 2011, as 95 per cent of all the vaccinations covered an excess of the target that was pegged at 95 per cent.

She noted that HIV control activities were intensified as incidence of the disease was rather high, rising from 2.6 per cent in 2009 to 3.8 per cent in 2010. All health facilities were then equipped and started offering Prevention of Mother to Child transmission treatment to pregnant women and 45 counsellors were trained to help with it while all second cycle schools in the area were visited and given education as well as counselling  on the disease.

Radio sensitization programmes were also carried out.

“At the Out Patients Departments (OPD) of health facilities in the Municipality, there was a decrease in the 2011 Malaria cases as compared to the figure in 2010, from 152,156 in 2010 to 129,645 in 2011.”

Ms Bagina explained that the improvement could have been due to the intensive education on malaria preventive measures and the use of insecticide treated bed nets.

Antenatal coverage was increased from 79.4 per cent in 2010 to 84.9 per cent in 2011 while supervised deliveries increased from 69.1 per cent to 76 per cent during the same period.

In the area of nutrition, 221 children were seen with acute malnutrition and 71.1 per cent cured.

Ms Bagina said the shortage of personnel which was a problem had improved as about five Diploma General Nurses and several enrolled nurses were posted to the Municipality while Health Extension Workers and Health Promotion Assistants were also assigned to the facilities to help.

She said Family Planning (FP) patronage was rather low and called on the personnel to work hard at educating the people on the need to plan their families.

 “Some reasons for the poor response to FP include traditional beliefs against the prevention of procreation, refusal of husbands to allow their wives, inconvenience of having to take pills everyday and misconception about side effects”, she said.

Dr James Akpable, Upper East Deputy Regional Director of Health Services, called on the health workers to make innovations in their usual duties and plan differently to enable them perform better.

He assured them that they would be getting more funds this year to carry out their duties.

GNA

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