Refreshers training programmes are to be organised for health staff in the Upper East Region to help in the early detection and containment of the novel coronavirus (COVID- 19).
The Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Winfred Ofosu, disclosed this at the 2019 Annual Health Service Review Performance Conference on the theme, “The Role of Quality Data in Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Upper East Region”.
He expressed worry about the many unapproved routes along the country’s borders with Burkina Faso, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire stating that already his outfit had empowered many port health staff and community health volunteers to support in the screening exercise and early detection of the virus.
Dr Ofosu appealed to opinion, traditional and religious leaders, and civil society groups in Bawku,Tempane, Garu and Paga to actively get involved in the exercise by ensuring that they report strangers who use the unapproved routes for screening.
He appealed to all to abide by the health tid bits of washing hands with soap under running water, use sanitisers and avoid shaking, use handkerchiefs when sneezing and avoid overcrowding.
Dr Ofosu said apart from that, hand washing and sanitisers had been mounted in all health facilities in the region.
The health staff also used the visiting periods of patients to the facilities to educate them about the pandemic.
Speaking on the 2019 Annual Health Service Review Performance Conference of the region, the Regional Director indicated that the region had made significant progress in the areas of maternal and newborn services and nutrition, childhood immunisation services, malaria controls and HIV/AIDS response among others.
“The Upper East Region over the years continues to make strides in key service performance areas such as malaria controls and HIV/AIDS response, maternal and newborn services and nutrition, childhood immunisation services,” Dr Ofosu stressed.
Whilst disclosing that the region’s doctor to population ratio improved slightly from one doctor per 23,942 people in 2018 to one doctor per 18,459 people in 2019, the Regional Director stated that the region still have a lot to do in attracting and retaining health staff, particularly medical officers.
He said despite the challenges confronting the health sector in the region, the staff continued to sacrifice and work hard, and attributed the success story of the health delivery sector of the region to such hard work of the staff.
The Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Frank Fusieni Adongo, who lauded the management of the Regional Health Directorate for initiating pragmatic programmes and policies for the achievements, also commended the development partners for financial and technical support to the health directorate.
From Samuel Akapule, Bolgatanga