Govt committed to tackling all diseases—Dr Oko-Boye

The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Bernard Oko-Boye has stated that government is committed to tackling every health condition in the country, in spite of the prominent attention it has paid to the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19). 

“Government has not taken its eye off the ball when it comes to other health conditions and has placed equal prominence on every disease in the country”, he stressed.

The Deputy Minister stated this when he paid a courtesy call on the Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih on Monday as part of a two day working visit to the region. 

The visit was to enable him to ascertain the meningitis prevalence in the region, assess the various interventions put in place to tackle it and also appreciate the amount of work done by the various stakeholders to prevent the spread of the meningitis in the region. 

Dr Oko-Boye indicated that his visit to the region was a confirmation that the government and the Ministry of Health was interested in combating all diseases that affected Ghanaians and not just CODVID-19. 

“This visit will afford me the opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the regional team in managing two conditions of public health importance, Meningitis and CODVID-19. Together with the authorities, we will conduct a close review of what is happening and see how we can support the region as a ministry, he stated. 

Dr Oko-Boye said the World Health Organisaation (WHO), had stated that meningitis prevalence should not exceed 10 per cent, adding that the 15 per cent meningitis prevalence in the Upper West Region was worrying and needed immediate attention. 

He reiterated the government’s commitment to managing every health condition and said although government would support the region to combat the disease, it was incumbent on residents to report early to health centres for treatment. 

For his part, the Regional Minister, Dr Salih stated that although managing the two diseases had been very challenging to the region, they were able to contain the situation, with support from government and other benevolent bodies. 

“Even though we have recorded some new deaths from meningitis infection, the frequency and prevalence has reduced drastically”, he said, adding that the death toll for the meningitis stood at 43 with 273 cases. 

Dr Salih hinted that the Ghana Health Service had sent technocrats to the region to analyse and identify ways to manage the situation by proposing solutions to the region to ensure they beat the meningitis disease. 

“Government, WHO and some philanthropists have come to our aid, so we have adequate supply of drugs but our bane is that patients report to health facilities very late. This is why we have step up our sensitisation campaign for people to visit hospitals when they begin to feel feverish”, he stated. 

He congratulated Dr Oko-Boye on his appointment as the Deputy Minister of Health and encouraged him to bring his expertise to bear to help the ministry advance the health status of Ghanaians. 

The Deputy Minister of Health as part of his visit, would tour some hospitals and isolation centres in the region to interact with patients on admission for meningitis and CODVID-19 respectively. 

LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA

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