Ghana make progress on MDG6

Dr . Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira,Director-General, Ghana Health ServiceThe Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, says Ghana in 2014 made steady progress in the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 6.

The MDG 6 demands that Ghana combats HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases by 2015 amidst the numerous challenges and setbacks.

Speaking to The Ghanaian Times in Accra, the director said the successes attained included the consistent eradication of Guinea worm in the country.

Ghana has for the past five years, not recorded any case in polio which is also a plus to the service and the Ministry of Health for   being able to completely eradicate polio which has been a battle for most countries over the past.

He said Ghana had made strides in the prevention of Human Immune Virus (HIV) as the prevalent rate of the disease kept dropping low until the end of the year.

Similarly, the DG said Ghana was still making progress in the prevention of malaria since the malaria case fatality in the country kept dropping through out last year.

Giving a reflection of the GHS activities in 2014, Dr Appiah said that the nation failed in addressing sanitation problems which resulted in its inability to curb the cholera epidemic which hit the nation.

He said Ghana had continuously failed in ensuring environmental sanitation at all levels in the previous years due it its liberal legislation enforcement practices.

“Last year, the prevention of cholera a disease which boarders mainly of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation was the nation’s major problem”.

The failure, he attributed to the ‘voluntary helpless’ nature of Ghanaians and the frequent use of polythene bags (rubber) which poses a major health threat to the nation and the efforts on the service to improve upon health standards.

“Rubber is not degradable, it does not decay and yet used in every part of the country, this keep making the refuse huge, since most people in some instances defecate into the rubbers and carelessly dispose it anywhere”.

He believed that the sanitation issues of the country could be handled well if waste management companies could consider separating the rubbers from other solid waste.

“There would be no loitering around if the recycling of plastic waste is stepped up and made attractive because even children would collect these plastic bottles, cans and rubbers and sell them for money to keep the country clean” he said.

Dr. Denkyira challenged the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to enforce laws of sanitation and ensure that people adhere to it this Year.

The MLGRD must in 2015 ensure the provision of potable water, and sanitary facilities in all houses and public places especially, at market places and lorry parks where most of the public feed.

He said that preparations that went into the prevention of the Ebola scare which arose in 2014 brought to a halt the outlined activities to be undertaken by the service.

By Linda Aryeetey

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