The outgoing MCE for the West Gonja municipal assembly and the Savannah regional minister designate, hon Saeed Jibreel Muhazu has expressed gratitude to the staff of the Ghana health service in the municipality for their selfless dedication to duty that the assembly recorded high numbers in key health performance indicators. The health service staff and volunteers have been urged to sacrifice more for clients in the era of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Addressing participants in Damongo, hon Muhazu assured the staff that he will work closely with the GHS even more when he is vetted and sworn in as the substantive minister for the region.
Hon Muhazu said this at the West Gonja municipal Annual Performance Review program of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in Damongo on Thursday February 4, 2021, at the RCC conference hall.
Reacting to concerns or challenges raised by the Municipal Health Director, Hajia Fusheina, hon Muhazu disclosed that some health facilities in the area are almost complete and will be handed over soon to the GHS to enhance health delivery in the area. Murugu, Monogri and other areas will soon take full delivery of health facilities.
Kedendelempe will also see the beginning of construction of a CHPS compound this year, Broto and Kotito areas will all get their facilities in the years.
On the need to get quick sample results for Covid-19 hon Muhazu assured that Covid-19 samples transportation delays will be a thing of the past. Fuel or money for transporting samples from Damongo to Tamale will be made available to the GHS for samples in the West Gonja municipal as soon as there is a suspected case.
As a regional minister, I’m going to put this across the region to make sure various MMDCEs provide for the cost of samples transportation from their assemblies to make sure samples sent to Tamale are tested and results known immediately. Currently, it takes between 5 to 60 days for results of covid-19 samples to be known by the West Gonja hospital, a situation the experts are not happy about.
Welcoming members, Hajia Fuseina Sulemana, the Municipal Health Director explained that the year 2020 journey has not been an easy one for the period under review. It has taken great sacrifice by the health personnel especially with covid-19, committed policymakers and stakeholders to sail through the year. “I want to acknowledge the contribution of the West Gonja Municipal Assembly towards renovating the Damongo and Busunu health centres and in several other ways, the regional health directorate, the office of the member of parliament, both former and present, for their immense support, World Vision Ghana, and among others for their roles in contributing to the health service delivery in the municipality”.
The municipal health directorate despite the rough year 2020, has recorded some achievements in the following key health indicators.
Antenatal Care coverage moved from 112% to 116% from 2019 to 2020.
Skilled delivery increased from 75% in 2019 to 78% in 2020.
BCG coverage increase from 108% in 2019 to 111% in 2020 whilst OPV1 coverage has increased from 89% in 2019 to 103% in 2020.
Hajia added that there was reduction in malaria cases from 9,840 to 8,971 due to intense distribution of mosquito nets and other drugs to children and parents.
Hajia Fuseina however said the challenges are still huge in the midst of the success chalked. The directorate is bedeviled with inadequate number of some health professionals especially Community Health Nurses, weak motorbikes for outreach services, lack of permanent infrastructure and some CHPS zones, lack of basic equipment such as HB machines, inadequate accommodation for health staff, lack of adequate physical infrastructure to be used as CHPS facilities in some communities such as Kadedelimpe, Monogri, Broto. The health directorate is also lacking electricity in some health facilities such as Kotito CHPS, Kadedelimpe, Achulokura, among others.
The Covid-19 surveillance and response for the year 2020 saw the municipality recording a total of 129 suspected case of which samples were taken for testing and all turn out negative. The West Gonja hospital was designated as the treatment centre to manage covid-19 cases in and around the municipality.
Over the period, the health service received support such as veronica buckets, liquid soap, hand sanitizers, gloves, face masks, gowns, and finances among others from Savannah regional health directorate, municipal assembly, World Vision, Savannah Consultative forum, NORSAAC, UNICEF, CHAG, cribs, Marie Stoppes, Office of the former and current MPs and other partners.
Hajia Fusheina thanked Damongo based Community Radio station, PAD FM (95.1) for their role in promoting health delivery in the West Gonja municipal assembly throughout the year. She thanked the World Vision Ghana for procuring hospital beds and Anti Malaria Drugs and infantometeters. Appreciation also went to the selfless health volunteers who sacrificed a lot under unimaginable conditions to augment the efforts of the Ghana health service in the prevention and control of diseases and maintenance of our wellness. The management of the municipal health directorate, the municipal assembly, the health staff and partners received thank you for contributing to the achievements recorded in 2020.