Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district records low post-natal attendance
Post-natal care attendance is very low at health facilities in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba district of the Northern Region.
The district Disease Control Officer, Thomas Suuri, described as worrying lactating mothers’ apathy towards post-natal attendance.
“Many mothers, refuse to take their children to the hospital for post-natal care weeks after delivery. Even when community nurses go to their homes, they demand that they are paid before they allow the nurses to attend to their children,” “The attitude of majority of residents of the district towards healthcare promotion despite persistent behavioural change advocacy is quite worrying,” he lamented.
Mr. Suuri recalled, “Gone are the days when health officials went out for outreach services and community people gave them fowls, yam and other gifts. Nowadays, when our officials go out there for immunization, parents refuse to bring out their children and they demand that unless they are paid they will not bring their children. I feel so sad about the behaviour of our people.”
Mr. Suuri, who doubles as the focal person for malaria, pleaded with traditional and opinion leaders there to help overturn the situation.
He raised this concern at a day’s stakeholders meeting on Advocacy for Resource for Malaria Stoppage (ARMS) project organised in Sawla by the Institute of Social Research and Development (ISRAD-Ghana).
The meeting was meant to sensitise stakeholders from decentralised departments, chiefs and assembly members on the high incidence of malaria and how it could be solved.
It also intended to form a multi-stakeholder group required to lead in the mobilisation of critical resources to enable the district combat malaria and other related health hazards.
Sponsored by the UKAID, ARMS is a one year project (2016-2017) implemented by ISRAD in 54 districts across Ghana.
The overall goal of ARMS, according to the Northern Regional Coordinator of ISRAD, Abdul-Razak Bawah, is to contribute to the reduction of malaria cases in Ghana.
He further explained that, through ARMS, District Malaria Advocacy Groups (DMAGs) are formed and operationalized in beneficiary districts.
“Members of the DMAGs are expected to mobilize resources to assist their districts to combat malaria through public education, procurement of anti-malarial drugs, long lasting insecticide nets and testing kits”, Mr. Bawah indicated.
The six member group in the Sawla-Tuna-Kalba District is led by the Sawlawura, Alidu Bukari, who has pledged to lead his colleagues to look for the necessary resources that the district health directorate requires to eradicate malaria.
Mr. Bawah said testing prior to malaria treatment has increased by 10 percent in all 10 regions of Ghana where the ARMS project is being implemented.
He also mentioned that, 10,000 healthcare service providers have been sensitized to adhere to the national malaria diagnosis protocol, whereas 1 million healthcare seekers have been sensitized to demand to be tested prior to malaria treatment.
Ghana is said to record about 9 million cases of malaria each year, and it is expected that by 2020, the Ghana Health Service could reduce the disease and malaria deaths by 75 percent using the 2012 results as a baseline.