West Gonja District Health Directorates and all the various health related workers in the District have held their annual Health Performance Review at Mahama Guest House on Friday February 3, 2012 at Damongo in the Northern Region.
The purpose of this review is to report on the progress made as well as successes and challenges faced during health delivery in 2011.
It is also intended as a tool for resource mobilization, strategic planning, research agenda setting, policy consideration and general information on the health status of people living in the West Gonja District.
The District Director Health Service, Dr. Chrysantus Kubio, in his welcome address, has congratulated all the health workers for their generous works in the past years and urged them to put much effort in this year’s activities in order to improve health conditions in the district.
However, Dr. Chrysantus outlays some achievements of the health sector in the districts. This includes, the utilization of Ante-natal services which has increased by 12.8%, from 85.5 in 2010 to 95.6% in 2011, skilled delivery increased by 11% from 36.6% in 2010 to 39.6% in 2011 and the 1st trimester registrants has also increased from 28.3% to 28.8%
Other recognised success chalk during the year were, the Live birth rate has increased from 97.1% to 98.0%, the admission rate has covered an increase of 66/1,000 to 76/1,000 population and the under five malaria CFR has decreased from 0.9% to 0.8% and also the institutional Under five mortality has decreased from 18/1,000 live births to 8/1,000 live births.
Furthermore, the various institutions in the District Health Service whose performances were reviewed included, West Gonja Hospital, West Gonja Mutual Health Insurance Scheme, West Gonja- Damongo Community Psychiatry Unit, the Health Assistant Clinical Training School,-Damongo and West Gonja District HIV/AIDS/STI Activities and also West Gonja District Nutrition Sector.
Others also include Damongo Sub-District, Mole Sub-District, Busunu Sub-District and Damongo community case management,
First of all, looking at the district health profile, the total population amassed was 90,616, whiles the Population Growth Rate was 2.8% and the total fertility rate was 8 children.
In the performance Reviewed of the West Gonja District Hospital, some of the activities recognized as achievements were the hospital was awarded by NCHS for the continues reduction in U5 deaths, procurement of 100 new chairs and 7 new office tables to furnish the hospital, purchased of two grass mowers to improve the sanitation situation, replacement of all the baby courts in the children’s ward with twenty new beds through funds from carol singers of Germany and Construction of three(3) senior staff bungalows and also the purchased SUV Hover from IGF.
Reviewing the major killer diseases, cholera and malaria were given important attention.
The West Gonja district recorded an outbreak of cholera that lasted from the 18th of March, 2011 to the 5th of April, 2011.
Among a total of 52 cases meeting the case definition, Vibrio cholera O1 Ogawa was isolated from stool specimen of one case (1.9%). The cholera was clinically characterized by a more sudden onset; watery diarrhea; and associated abdominal pain, muscle cramps, and vomiting, which led to more dehydration and hospitalization.
Nevertheless, non-portable water and lack of general insanitary conditions were identified as probable vehicles for V. cholera.
The incidence of diarrhea among some relatives of patients with cholera suggested interfamily transmission and cases were more than usual and occurred in clusters.
On the other hand, malaria continues to be the greatest contributor to the disease burden in the district, accounting for over 50% of all OPD morbidity.
The numerous interventions that have been put in place are beginning to yield results as the incidence continues to reduce for the past three years. The rate has reduced from 68% of all OPD morbidity in 2009 to 52% in 2011.
Yet, the cafe fatality rate (CFR) also continues to decrease. The CFR for children under five also reduced from 1.8% in 2009 to less than 1% in 2011.
Whiles IPT Coverage has been dwindling over the past 3 years with widening drop-out rates, and ITN use in pregnancy remains unacceptably low.
A number of activities with support from the Global fund, ProMPT Ghana and WVI were implemented to increase informed demand malaria control commodities.
In relation to sickness and diseases the following success were chalked,
v In-patient malaria mortality dropped by 0.4% from 1.2% in 2010 to 0.8% in 2011.
v Average ANC visit increased by 0.7% from 3.3% in 2010 to 4% in 2011.
v Penta 3 coverage increased from 53.7% in 2010 to 71.9% in 2011.
v Measles coverage increased from 47.7% in 2010 to 61.9% in 2011.
v Skilled deliveries rate increased by 2.2% in the year under review.
Nonetheless, the district was not left out in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. (MDG)
The utilization of ante-natal care has been sustained over 80% for the past four years. The coverage for the year under review was 95.6%. This represents a total of 3,464 registrants and 9,679 attendants’ clients who accessed care in all the health facilities across the district. This represents about 13% increase in coverage as compared to the same period last year
Post Natal services continue to be low. A total of 1,817 clients received care after delivery.
Again in the skilled delivery, the rate increased by over 11% from 36.6% to 39.6% in 2011. This represents about 41% of ANC clients. Policies on free delivery, NHIS enrolment and the adoption of quality improvement methods in all the areas of maternal health care are accountable for this.
Considering, the district family planning services, the district coverage for family planning offered in the period under review was 23.4% of women in their reproductive age. This figure represents a total of 5,098 new and continuing acceptors and clients who attended various health facilities in the district.
Even though, good quality maternal health services are not universally available and accessible but 15% receive no antenatal care, 60% receive 4 times Pre-natal Care, 60% of deliveries unattended by skilled provider, 50% receive no post-natal care, and 70% have no access to FP services.
Special attention was given to issues of child care especially care of the neonates, all in an effort to achieving the MGD. This effort resulted in an improvement generally in the status of children under five.
However, since life without challenges is impossible some major challenges were identified and which have contributed to most of their failures in the service delivery. These were inadequate water supply in the hospital, no ambulance service and poor road network. Others were identified as inadequate technical staffs, and dilapidated staff accommodation and also dilapidated structures within the hospital and limited resources, especially financial resource to institute attractive motivational packages to attract personnel to the facility.
The Health Workers however outlined their targeted goals for the year 2012 and presented the designed strategies to implement in achieving them. The health workers therefore, seek for enough government support in solving eradicating their challenges and have also promised to deliver better services this year.
By: Shallom Lumor
West Gonja District- Damongo.