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CR Health directorate makes gains

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye - Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS)
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye - Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS)

The Central Regional health sector performance indicators for 2021 moved from a low category to a high performing category.

On a scale of five, the Central Regional health directorate, after a cumulative assessment of its performance, moved from 3.6 to hit 4.1 placing the region in the rank of high performing regions in spite of the challenges that came with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The region improved on major indicators including maternal and neonatal mortality.

It ensured a 100 per cent audit of all maternal deaths and had 100 per cent of all its facilities having health emergency departments.

Presenting its report at the Central Regional Health Sector Annual Performance Review in Cape Coast, a member of a team from the Volta Region, Mr Ignatius Akilkpe, who assessed the region, said effective monitoring and supervision at all levels of the health sector setup and the demand for feedback from the various institutions contributed to the high performance.

Challenges

The team, however, pointed out that the high proportion of internally generated revenue spent on personnel emoluments, inadequate functionality of audit committees at the health facility level were some of the challenges and called for structures to enhance them.

The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye in a speech read on his behalf, congratulated the region and said the GHS had worked hard in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notably, he said public health laboratory testing sites had increased from two to sixty; while the GHS capacity to manage infectious diseases had significantly improved in terms of public health surveillance, clinical response and critical case management.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye noted that the action was an opportunity that came with the COVID-19 pandemic and would enable health directorates to respond appropriately to future outbreaks by reactivating those strengthened systems.

Also, he said several service delivery indicators recorded increases, with OPD per capita rate increasing by 11 per cent, skilled delivery coverage increasing by almost seven per cent from 56.7 per cent in 2020 to 63.5 per cent in 2021, and antenatal care clients making their fourth visit increasing by a little over eight per cent from 74 per cent in 2020 to 82.1 per cent during the year under review.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said the year under review also saw hospital admission rate increasing from 52.2 per cent in the previous year to 64.9 per cent, the administration of iron and folic acid for at least 180 days to 61 per cent of pregnant women, introduction of family planning and childhood cancers into the NHIS benefits package, significant improvement in the management of COVID-19 cases and kick-off of the wellness clinic concept.

Consolidate gains

The Central Regional Director of Health, Dr Akosua Agyeiwaa Owusu-Sarpong, said the directorate would continue to undertake strategies and key interventions that would sustain gains and forge ahead to achieve universal health coverage.

The Central Regional Minister, Mrs Justina Marigold Assan, commended the health professionals for their dedication to duty saying that the health sector was core to national well-being and urged them to work to identify gaps and map out strategies to improve service delivery.

Award

The best polyclinic award went to the Bawjiase Polyclinic, followed by the Potsin Polyclinic and then the Ajumako Polyclinic, while the best district hospital went to St Francis Xavier Hospital at Assin Fosu followed by the Dunkwa Municipal Hospital and the Our Lady of Grace Hospital at Breman Asikuma.

The Mfantseman Municipal Health Directorate was adjudged the best among the municipalities, followed by the Assin North Municipal Health Directorate while the Agona West Health Directorate took the third place.

The Assin North Municipal Health Directorate also received a special award for its high COVID-19 vaccination coverage.