Health review: Ashanti makes modest gains despite COVID-19 challenges

Health review
Health review

The Ashanti Region recorded improvement in most health indicators in 2020, achieving a significant 30 per cent reduction in maternal mortality.

Despite the adverse effect that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic had on health delivery, other service indicators such as supervised delivery, postnatal coverage, antenatal clients attending four and more visits, children under five benefiting from treated nets, and percentage of mothers breastfeeding within 30 minutes after increased in 2020.

Dr. Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Regional Director of Health Services who announced this, said mortalities in malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS also declined.

He was speaking at an Annual Performance Review Meeting held in Kumasi to take stock of the performance of all districts and municipal health directorates in the Region.

The meeting which was held on the theme, “Continuity of Service in the Midst of COVID-19” was attended by District Health Directors, some staff of the Regional Health Directorate, development partners and other stakeholders.

Dr. Tinkorang, however, disclosed that family planning acceptor rate and Out Patients Department (OPD) attendance declined, attributing it to apprehension following the outbreak of the global pandemic.

He said geographical equity index for midwives, doctors and nurses remained a major challenge last year due to refusal of staff to accept postings to deprived districts, especially Sekyere Afram Plains.

Touching on statistics of COVID-19 during the year under review, the Regional Director said a total of 11,171 persons were infected out of which 104 died.

The number, according to him, included 1,248 health professionals with two mortalities.

“The Region will continue with the prevention and control of COVID-19. We will strengthen the risk communication, surveillance, coordination and case management”, he stated.

He said the directorate would improve the package for home based care, school health and workplace services and increase awareness and screening for non-communicable diseases, especially hypertension, diabetes and cancers.

“We will continue our maternal mortality reduction efforts by strengthening supportive supervision per maternal health audit task force activities”, the Regional Director assured.

The Region, he said would analyze the performance for the year 2020, identify the challenges and gaps in order to strategize to improve performance.

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