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Regional News Fri, 7 May 2004

Parents in Shama Ahanta East Metropolis not use bed nets.

Takoradi, May 7, GNA - Dr. Mrs. Linda Van-Otoo, Shama Ahanta East Metropolitan Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on Thursday said some parents within the metropolis have refused to use the Insecticide Treated Bed Nets (ITNs) for their children.

She said some of the parents alleged that bed nets do not allow free flow of air as their main reason for not providing it for their children.

Dr. Van-Otoo said these at the Western Regional launch of the Child Health Promotion Week at Takoradi.

She said as a result, the usage of ITNs and patronage is low in the metropolis, adding that, out of a total of 526 admissions at the children's ward of the Effia Nkwanta Hospital, 62 died and malaria accounted for 31 of the deaths, while the remaining 26 died through severe anaemia.

Dr. Van-Otoo expressed regret that, though there are several health centres that provide care for children, immunisation coverage's are sometimes below expectation, while less than 50 per cent of the population use iodated salts for cooking.

Dr. Van-Otoo said some parents continue to treat their children's fevers with all sorts of drugs and sometimes to the detriment of the child.

"Some parents cited poverty as a major reason for not sending their sick children to hospital" she stressed.

Dr. Van-Otoo therefore, called on the various district assemblies to support the GHS in its quest to ensure the survival and development of children within the country.

Madam Sophia Horner-Sam, Deputy Western regional Minister said some negative cultural practices that work against children, must be changed to enable children survive.

She said government would soon provide water and waste disposal sites in several communities to reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal diseases. Madam Horner-Sam charged parents to take the challenges confronting their children seriously and find appropriate methods of dealing with them.

Dr. Sylvester Anemana, regional director of the GHS said the child health promotion programme would target mothers, father's caregivers and the general public.

He said the GHS would continue to provide other services aimed at enhancing the chances of survival among children. Dr. Anemana urged all Ghanaians to adopt innovative approaches that would assist the country to reach set targets in the health and other sectors of the economy.

Source: GNA