Saturday, February 26, 2011


Ghana would be declared a guinea worm free country in June this year, if the current successes chalked continues unimpeded, Dr. Akwasi Twumasi, Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has declared.

According to him, the Northern Region, which is the most endemic area of the water borne disease in the past two decades had recorded only 8 cases for the past year (2010) and had not recorded any single case of the disease for about 8 months now, with the last case being May 11, 2010.

Dr. Twumasi was speaking during this year's annual performance review meeting of the GHS in Tamale, the Northern Regional capital.

It was under the theme: “Using information for better decisions towards effective staff support and supervision to achieve MDG 4 and 5”.

Goals 4 and 5 talks about drastic reduction of child mortality and improved maternal health respectively by 2015. Children and pregnant women are most the vulnerable when attacked by malaria, thus everything was being done to ensure that the number of children and pregnant women who die as a result of malaria was halted.

He said the guinea worm disease had reduced from 237 in 2009 to 8, adding that there was the optimism that “we almost won, because of the sustained efforts of the staff and the collaborators”.

Dr. Akwasi Twumasi commended partners for their efforts and announced an award scheme of GH¢100.00 to anyone who would report any suspected case of the disease.

The Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service also stated that, malaria continues to be the main cause of Out-Patient-Department (OPD) attendance, accounting for 48.3 per cent of the 36,969 cases, and that typhoid fever was also among the top ten cases of OPD.

He disclosed that, the region recorded a total of 1,040 cases of snake bites and expressed worry that the situation was getting serious due to the activities of shea nut pickers and appealed to the people to protect themselves when picking the wild fruits or nuts.

Meanwhile, Hajia Hajara Telly, chairperson for the occasion appealed to the Ghana Health Service to collaborate with the Information Services Department and the National Commission for Civic Education to sensitize the general public most especially rural dwellers on various ways of healthy living.

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