Ghanaians urged to be health conscious in 2019 0

Ghanaians have been urged to take advantage of the preventive services being offered by the various health institutions and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to maintain high standards of wellness in 2019 and beyond.

Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, who gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said it was the hope of the GHS that the health status of Ghanaians would improve considerably.

This was because Ghana aimed to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC), at least at the primary care level by 2020.

He, however, insisted that ensuring good health was a shared responsibility of the individual and the GHS and urged people to make deliberate efforts to live healthy lives by submitting themselves for regular checkups.

This would ensure early detection, diagnoses and treatment of diseases, especially Non-Communicable ones like diabetes and cancers.

Dr Nsiah-Asare, giving highlights on some priority areas of focus in 2019 in his goodwill message to Ghanaians for the New Year, said it was the hope of the GHS that people would take advantage of the various preventive services, especially for children, through the extensive immunisation services.

Women in child bearing age should visit the Maternal and Child Health clinics and during pregnancy must at least visit the ante-natal not less than four times.

“It is also hoped that they would also take advantage of the skilled delivery services offered in these facilities, and stop patronising the services of unskilled ones, to help cut down on maternal, neonatal and child mortality.

“Once we are able to do that we would be heading towards the achievement of some of the goals under the UHC,” he said.

Dr Nsiah-Asare said the GHS would be focusing on good nutrition as a key intervention measure towards the increasing poor health of Ghanaians, saying plans were advanced to elevate the Health Promotion Department into a Division.

This would help strengthen their activities to intensify preventive health programmes at Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) zones, regional and teaching hospitals, and to also reduce road accidents.

The Director-General further spoke about the good sides of the digital platform for the renewal of the National Health Insurance, which was launched in December 2018, saying it is now convenient for clients, hence people must take advantage of the service to eliminate the financial problems of funding their healthcare needs.

He said the GHS would, in 2019, double its efforts towards the elimination of HIV and AIDS, by ensuring that persons diagnosed with the infection were immediately put on Anti-retroviral Therapy and intensify the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission to curb its progression and spread.

He, therefore, encouraged the public to go for voluntary testing in order to know their HIV status and, thereafter, adhere to preventive counselling to avoid being infected.

“HIV is just like any other the disease such as malaria or diabetes which can be managed for a person to live a normal life. Do not be afraid to be tested, but make yourselves available, by taking advantage of all these services being offered at health facilities, CHPS, health centres for better healthcare,” he said.

Dr Nsiah-Asare, however, entreated faith homes, shrines, and prophets not to keep vulnerable or sick persons in their custody until their conditions worsen, but must allow the professionals to take charge of their treatment.

He wished all GHS Staff a Happy and Prosperous New Year and urged them to remain companions to their patients and provide care with smiles on their faces to enhance their clients’ healing process.

He said the current heat levels were catalysts for meningitis, especially in the Northern and upper parts of the Brong Ahafo and the Volta regions and advised that people should try and avoid overcrowding, and anybody with signs and symptoms such as fever, headaches and neck pains to the any health facilities.


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Girls Iron Folic Acid Tablets Supplementation (GIFT) programme kick starts Eastern Region 0

The Girls Iron Folic Acid Tablets Supplementation (GIFT) targeted at reducing high anaemia prevalence in the young has been launched in Koforidua.

Under the implementation about 54,000 girls between the ages of 10-19 in schools and out of school in the Eastern Region, would receive a folic acid tablet supplementation routinely to be administered under supervision to reduce anaemia.

At an orientation meeting with stakeholders prior to the launching, Dr Mrs Alberta Britwum-Nyarko, the Eastern Regional Director of Health Services, said statistics show that two out of every five women in the country have anaemia or low blood levels resulting in fatigues, headaches and even death in pregnant women.

She said in young adolescents the immediate effect of “this anaemia or low blood level condition results in poor memory and not doing well in school, whiles the long-term effect results in complications in pregnancies such as premature or stillbirths and even death during delivery”.

Dr Britwum-Nyarko said in order to reduce the high prevalence of anaemia among women and girls, the Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service (GES) has initiated the GIFT programme to help prevent the dire consequences of anaemia in the society.

Mr Bismarck Sarkodie, the regional Nutrition Officer of the GHS, said research shows that it is important for every woman to prepare her nutritious status very well before pregnancy and this can be done by eating food that contains all the minerals, especially iron.

He said the GIFT programme is, therefore, an intervention to prepare adolescent girls adequately as far as their nutritional status was concerned.

Again, he said some girls lose a lot of blood during menstruation and this also means the loss of a lot of iron which needs to be replaced and appealed to all stakeholders to use every opportunity to educate the public especially mothers to embrace the programme.

Later, Ms Golda Asante, Director of the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) on behalf of the Eastern Regional Minister, launched the programme at the Presbyterian Cluster of Schools where folic acid tablets were administered to the school children.



Source: GNA

Special Education Is What Children with Congenital Heart Defects Needs- NGO 0

A project meant to provide exceptional services for kids with inborn Heart Defects (CHDs) before and after surgery has been launched with an appeal on educational establishments to pay special attention to the wants of such children.

Dubbed “Restore a Child’s Heart Project”, the project additionally seeks to advocate for quality and affordable health care for school going kids with such disabilities.
It is being funded by the Centre of Hope global Missions, United Kingdom in collaboration with Dominion Leaders Foundation (DLF), Ghana as the implementers.
The aim is to forestall CHDs, manage its effects and save the lives of Ghanaian and Jamaican kids with such disabilities globally.
Dr Martha Anang, Chief executive officer (CEO) of DLF and executive director of the project, said it’s incumbent on the education sector to plot ideas to make the classroom lively for such kids because research has proven that children with all types of CHD have poorer academic outcomes compared to their peers.

Even those who have early surgery for CHD are known to have impaired development which eventually turns out to have negative effects on their performances and achievements, Dr Anang said.

She said every child has a unique potential but this could not be fully developed if the child did not have good health.

Dr Anan said it was for this reason that the project is being introduced to help eliminate all forms of illnesses that affect school children and hinder their academic performances.

Reverend Dr Nordine Campbell, Chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of the Centre of Hope for global Missions, said that research conducted in 2016, reported that CHDs represent the second major reason behind cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality among young Africans.
However, she said its management was limited in Africa because of the inadequate socio-economic environments coupled with insufficient technical platforms and human resource to handle the incapacity.

Dr Campbell said the project would specifically identify school children with all types of CHDs and provide them with exceptional services needed to help improve their health conditions for better academic performance.

She said a Heart Restore Centre will eventually be built in the Central Region of Ghana to rehabilitate children with CHDs.

Dr Campbell expressed worry about the absence of reliable data on CHDs which made it difficult to estimate the global burden of these conditions on the African continent.

An estimated one million children and about 1.4 million adults are living with CHDs in the United States (US) alone while the British Heart Foundation, Health Promotion Research Group in 2013, reported that one in every 180 babies in the UK are born with a CHD.

“If developed countries like the US and UK have such high prevalence levels of CHDs then one can imagine the situation in Africa”, she lamented and called on other philanthropic   organisations and individuals to help save humanity, particularly, the poor little children in Africa where access to medical assistance in this direction might be non-existent.

Dr Ernest Asiedu, Head of Quality Management Unit at the Ministry of Health, who chaired the program, pledged the Ministry’s support for the project.

An Electrocardiogram (ECG) was done for about 140 children by doctors from the Doctors In Service (DIS) Clinic in Cape Coast to check their heart condition.

Dr Anang was inducted as a Health and Education Ambassador for the project worldwide by the Centre of Hope for Global missions while Dr Campbell was also made an ambassador by International Independence Interdenominational Christian Churches and Ministries (IFIICCM), a US-based organisation.


Source: GNA

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