Upper West records reduction in infant mortality (pg 11)

THE Upper West Region recorded a-7.6 per cent reduction in infant mortality rate from 105 in 2003 to 97 in 2008.
The region has also seen a reduction in common health cases such as malaria, diarrhoea and respiratory diseases while prompt and timely access to health services has also improved in remote communities in the region.
The Director of Programme Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Dr Frank Nyonator announced this at the Final Dissemination Workshop of the project for Scaling up the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) implementation in the Upper West Region.
The workshop was to review the operations of the project in the region and also make recommendations for the way forward.
The CHPS form part of a Ghana Health Service (GHS) nation-wide programme which is aimed at bridging the gap in access to health care by locating trained personnel in communities while community members assist in managing health care delivery.
A four-year JICA project “Scaling up of CHPS Implementation in the Upper West” began in 2006 in the region.
One if its main component is capacity building of personnel which includes training of Community Health Officers (CHOs), and so far, 140 CHOs have been trained.
The project is also targeting the establishment of 197 CHPS zones in the Upper West Region by 2015, with JICA providing $4.8 million in grants to support the project.
Dr Frank Nyonator stated that the project was initiated in the Upper West Region where health index was low adding that the paramount areas of concentration of the GHS as it pushed its health agenda forward would be on the CHPS, ambulance service, human resource development and ensuring that all health facilities in the country “gets patient off the floor.”
Dr Nyonator noted that the MoH and the GHS with the assistance of JICA would facilitate plans to scale up the CHPS model to all regions in the country.
The Resident Representative of the JICA in Ghana, Mr Kunihiro Yamauchi, said the project remained an effective strategy to ensure a vibrant health delivery system in the country.
He said the programme would be strengthened through the collaboration of other partners to ensure that “other parts of the country that needs the intervention receive it.”
Giving an overview of the project, Dr Alexis Nang-Beifubah, the Regional Director of Health Services in the Upper West Region, observed that the project had brought health delivery to the doorstep of the people as remote areas in the region which otherwise would not have access to health delivery no longer had the headache of walking for miles before receiving medical attention.

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