Health News of 2014-08-03

Health personnel asked to increase home-based care

The Brong Ahafo Regional Malaria Focal Person, Mr Anthony Ofori, has appealed to health personnel to increase home-based care services to minimise the death among children under the age of five.

Mr Ofori said malaria and diarrhoea were causing the death of children less than five years old, adding that vulnerability and undernourishment within the neonates are the burden of public health. He said this at a two- day Home-Based Care / Integrated Community Case Management (iCCM) Training for districts health officers in Sunyani. The training is funded by the USIAD, through the President Malaria Initiative.

The participants were drawn from the Asunafo North, Asutifi North, Atebubu Amanfi, Berekum Municipal, Tano North, Techiman Municipal, Sunyani West, Nkoranza South, Wenchi Municipal, Kintampo North, Dormaa West, Jaman North, Pru and Sene West districts. They were made up of pharmacists, clinicians, disease control officers, public health nurses, health information officers and district directors of the Ghana Health Service.

He said the government, through the Ministry of Health (MoH), has encouraged the personnel to step up their efforts to improve the children's health. According to him, in order to eliminate all the factors leading to the loss of lives among the innocent children, the MoH has introduced home-based care, with well-trained volunteer community- based agents (CBAs) taking health care to the doorsteps of the people. He noted that still-births among the neonates do mostly occur from the first day of birth to four weeks of survival which are about 28 days of their live.

He pointed out that similar challenges have been observed as a leading cause of the death of pregnant women, and this has necessitated the need to improve the systems and mechanism in the home-based care services to the society. He also advocated for the government to set up and sustain enough Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds where people could easily access primary health which are well steered by community health officers (CHOs) before referral to hospitals.

He conceded that even though the CHPS zones have not spread across the entire country, the communities made efforts to assist in improving the health of Ghanaians, especially those in the rural communities. The CHPS initiative was adopted by the GHS as a model for community-based service delivery. CHPS is an integral part of the current GHS five- year programme and represents the health sector component of the national poverty alleviation programme. The CHPS initiative characterises the key strategy for changing primary health care and family planning from a focus on clinical care at district and sub-district levels to a new focus on convenient and high-quality services at community and doorstep locations.

Mr Francis Ocloo, an Entomology Technician at the National Malaria Control Programme in Accra, revealed that the participants are expected to train two categories of groups in their respective districts, including CBAs while CHOs would play a supervisory role. Mr Ocloo outlined the main purpose of the training as to reduce morbidity and mortality due to malaria, acute respiratory track infection (ARI),diarrhoea and malnutrition in children less than five years.

He urged all patients who visit any health facility to insist on testing for malaria before the person is treated and tracked to see whether the fellow was well treated against the disease.

Source: Public Agenda
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