Mr Alex Bapula, the Sissala East Municipal Health Director, has said 2019 saw an improvement in the health indices of the area compared to previous years.

“The Health infrastructure six years ago in the Municipality were only five operationalised Community Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) zones but has now been improved and increased to 46 functional CHPS compounds with 39 structures to provide health care”.

Mr Bapula said this in Tumu during a 2019 Annual Review Conference on the theme: “Sustaining Leadership and Partnerships to Improve Positive Health Outcomes, the Role of Health Leaders and Community Stakeholders”.

This, he said, makes the Municipality one with the highest number of functional CHPS compounds in the Upper West Region.

He said service delivery in areas such as Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) and Antenatal care, Family Planning and human resources among other things had also improved.

“…We are doing more than the national average on Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) as the district has recorded more than the national target of 97 per cent of all the childhood antigens…”

Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) reduced from 221 deaths per/100,000 live births to 36 deaths per 100,000 live births, family planning improved from 23 per cent in 2013 to 57 per cent in 2019 and Ante Natal Care among others all improved from 75 per cent in 2013 to 104 per cent in 2019…”.

Mr Bapula said doctor/patient ratio had increased from just one medical doctor serving the 58,000 population to three additional doctors as well as an increase in number of midwives from six to 24.

Enrolled nurses have also increased to more than one hundred per cent from 2013 to 2019.

“For all the childhood immunization we have achieved our targets except meningitis `A` because of the shortage of the vaccines in the system,” he said.

Mr Bapula acknowledged the support of the Sissala East Municipal Assembly, stakeholders and other partners for their efforts in helping with resources to improve the health situation.

Dr Zakaria Bukari, the Medical Director in-charge of Sissala East Municipality, said though there had been some improvement in the health facilities, health financing was dropping with many patients relying on the Health Insurance to access healthcare.

“The Health Insurance has not reimbursed us for almost a year now as about 100 per cent of our clients are on health insurance”.

He expressed worry about the high neonatal deaths in Tumu and suggested to health practitioners to use the “Kangaroo” mother-care method to save lives and appealed to government and other stakeholders to help address the issue.

Mr Roger Nabiebakye, the Sissala East Municipal Coordinating Director, commended the health sector for the giant strides chalked in the Region and urged all other sectors to carry out their annual performance review to assess their goals and objectives set for the year.

He said the Assembly was embarking on health infrastructure development in Nankpawie and Welembelle among other communities to improve healthcare delivery.

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