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Sissala East adopts strategies to reduce maternal, child deaths   
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The Sissala East District Health Directorate is registering pregnant women in communities as well monitoring their pregnancy development through a follow-up programme.

The exercises, which take officials of the Directorate to communities where the pregnant women live, also afford them the opportunity to persuade the women to attend antenatal care.

The aim is to ensure that no woman dies from pregnancy and or its related conditions.

Mr Joseph Bolibie, Sissala East District Health Director announced this at the 2009 Annual Performance Review forum at Tumu last Thursday organized to take stock of its achievements and challenges for 2009.

He urged health workers in the communities to encourage individual counseling of pregnant women and also educate them on their health needs.

Mr Bolibie said the Directorate had established Community Emergency Transport System (CETS) in all the communities and has also compiled a telephone directory of prominent people such as assembly members and chiefs.

This, he said, is to facilitate quick information delivery and speedy transportation of pregnant women and other emergency cases to hospital for medical attention.

Mr Bolibie said Community-Based Agents (CBAs) have been trained to take care of home management of fevers and home-based care as part of the strategies initiated to promote quality healthcare delivery.

He said inadequate residential accommodation was a major source of discouragement to health workers posted to the district and appealed to the Assembly and other non-governmental organisations to assist in that regard.

Mr Bolibie said another problem is lack of adequate human resource personnel, especially for the technical staff of the hospital. Again there is inadequate provision of equipment.

For instance, he said, the Tumu District Hospital, which should be manned by four medical doctors, has only one doctor giving a high doctor-patient ratio of 1:54,000 people. It also has only two midwives serving at the sub-district health centres.

Mr Bolibie announced that the Directorate had acquired a piece of land with the assistance of Mr Richard Babini Kanton of Tumu Kuoro and the Assembly for the construction of a district hospital.

He appealed to government to expedite action on the construction of the hospital.

Dr Alexis Nang-Beifubah, Upper West Regional Director of Health Services, advised health workers to find out the causes of maternal deaths in the communities in order to adopt a more realistic approach to reduce the incidence.

He announced that six medical doctors were expected to be posted to the region this year and promised to post one of them to Tumu Hospital to reduce the burden on them.

He appealed to the district assembly to provide suitable accommodation for the doctors and other health workers to be posted to the district this year.
Source: GNA

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