THE Sene District, the largest but the least developed in the Brong Ahafo Region in terms of infrastructure, recorded no case of guinea worm in the year 2008 as compared to 11 cases recorded in 2007.
The district, which was among the guinea worm endemic areas in the region, is now free from guinea worm as a result of the hard work of the health personnel and community volunteers in the area.
Communities such as Kufu, Nketiah Akura and Boforosu that were endemic are now happy that no resident contracted guinea worm last year.
The success was due to access to potable water, which was jointly provided by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), corporate institutions and the Sene District Assembly.
The District Directorate of Health Services adopted a number of measures including surveillance and vigorous community education on guinea worm, which helped to eradicate the disease gradually from the area, which had affected the economic lives of the people.
According to Dr Anthony Adofo Ofosu, who doubles as the District Director of Health Services and Medical Director of the District Hospital, no community in the district recorded any guinea worm case last year.
He attributed the success story to intensive case searches and community awareness creation.
Some of the treated guinea worm victims who spoke to the Daily Graphic expressed their gratitude to the health workers and community volunteers in the district who came to their aid. They were also grateful to the NGOs and corporate bodies that provided them with potable water.
According to a 52-year-old farmer, who gave his name only as Kwaku, his wife and their four children were confined to their house for more than 21 days as a result of guinea worm infestation, adding that they could now go to farm.
“Thanks to the health workers, community volunteers who came to our aid when we were down with the guinea worm, we can now work to earn our daily bread,” he stressed.
Dr Ofosu stated further that one of the major difficulties hampering the achievement of zero tolerance for maternal deaths in the district was the poor road network in the area.
”During the year under review, the district recorded 13 maternal deaths as compared to six deaths in 2007. Three out of the 13 cases for last year were recorded at the health facility while 10 were at the community level,” he said.
Dr Ofosu explained that because of the bad nature of roads in the district, vehicles did not ply most of the communities.
He said for that reason, before pregnant women were brought to the hospital, they were in very critical condition while others died before they got means of transport to the hospital.
The only road that is accessible all year round is the Atebubu-Deifour-Battor trunk road. All the other roads — except the one linking Kwame Danso (the district capital) with Akyeremade Battor, Kyeamekrom with Tato Battor and Nyankontre with Asuosu — are tracks made by tractors to farm settlements to cart farm produce.
All these tracks are not motorable during the rainy season. Accessibility to most communities by health staff and clients from these communities to health facilities is difficult.
The District Director of Health Services, therefore, made a passionate appeal to the government and the various agencies to help in improving the road network in the district to help the people in the remote communities to access quality health care.
Residents in the districts also reiterated the appeal to the government to consider reshaping roads in the area to open up the district.
They said the improvement of the roads would not only enable them to cart their farm produce to the marketing centres, but would also help in conveying their sick relatives to the district hospital.
Dr Ofosu stated that last year, the Sene District Hospital performed 324 major surgical operations compared with 224 in 2007, saying most of the surgical cases were hernia, caesarian and excision (lumps) while 17 minor cases were done for the year under review as compared to 18 in 2007.
The District Hospital exists only in name but lacks the most basic infrastructure for even a health centre. There are three health centres in the district, which are located at Kojokrom, Bassa and Kajaji. There are five functional CHPS zones with three CHPS compounds at Nyankontre, Lassi and Tator Bator.