Mr Clifford Vengkumgmene, the Sissala East Municipal Director of Health Services, has said the Municipality had been hit by a high incidence of malaria infections despite several interventions.
He said the sensitisation, distribution of long-lasting insecticide nets, and the Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention, notwithstanding, malaria topped the list of Out Patients Department (OPD) cases in the area.
“If you take the OPD attendance, you will see malaria being among the top 10 and if you aggregate all, the malaria cases top the list of OPD top 10 cases, and it is in all our facilities,” he said.
Mr Vengkumgmene, in a presentation during the Mid-Year Health Sector Performance Review at Tumu in the Upper West Region, said a total of 5,588 OPD attendance, representing 18.8 per cent of 29,660 for the year 2022, were malaria cases.
He said in 2020 malaria came second with 6,695, representing 24.6 per cent of the OPD attendance, and was still second in 2021, with 6,585, representing 23.6 per cent.
He said this made the infection an area that required additional attention to contain in the Municipality but commended the staff and management of the health sector for teamwork, which had led to some gains made.
Mr Vengkumgmene said Sissala East was among the highest performing districts using the key performance indicators and had received awards for three consecutive years – 2019, 2020, and 2021.
“I have accepted the challenge to maintain the position every single year. I was initially scared but with the staff’s support, we shall sustain the gains,” he noted.
He explained that the sector had performed well using the key performance indicators, with Ante-natal attendance being 98.7 per cent against a target of 80 per cent, whilst Family Planning was 41 per cent against a 40 per cent target of 40 per cent, skilled delivery was 89.7 per cent against a target of 60 per cent.
“The maternal mortality ratio stood at 66 per cent of 100,000 live births meaning we recorded one maternal death in April, which is unfortunate, we will work on that and change it, no woman should die giving birth,” Mr Vengkumgmene observed.
He mentioned inadequate transport, water and electricity supply, medicines, and consumables, and poor communications services as challenges facing the directorate and called for government’s assistance in those areas.
He urged the National Health Insurance Authority to reimburse the facility of its claims as early as possible.
Mr Yakubu Fuseini Batong, the Sissala East Municipal Chief Executive, entreated all other departments to emulate the Mid-Year Performance Review of the Ghana Health Service, saying: “If all the departments undertake this exercise, things will be better.”
He asked the Municipal Health Director to furnish the Assembly with the needs of the Directorate to be included in their programmes adding that the Tumu Hospital Children`s Ward, which had been closed over structural defects, was one of the critical focuses of the Assembly.