COMMUNICABLE diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, chest infections and stroke dominate the disease profile of the Wenchi Municipality in the Brong Ahafo Region. The top 10 diseases in the municipality have also not changed significantly for the past years.
The municipality recorded a total of 119 deaths last year with malaria topping the cause of death which claimed 24 lives, HIV/AIDS claimed seven lives, 14 died of stroke (cerebrovascular accident) while nine people lost their lives through anaemia while there were four maternal deaths.
The Wenchi Municipal Director of Health Services, Dr Peter Asare, disclosed this at the end-of-year performance review for 2009 held at Wenchi.
He stated that malaria, anaemia and gastro-enteritis (an illness in which your stomach and intestines become swollen and painful causing diarrhoea and sickness) still constitute high proportions of disease burden in the municipality.
Dr Asare said antiretrovial services and opportunistic infection management in the municipality had reduced the HIV/AIDS casualty figure for the year.
He stated that the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) in collaboration with the Municipal Health Directorate would construct three Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) centres in the municipality to step up the HIV/AIDS prevention campaign in the area.
That, Dr Asare said, formed part of efforts to further reduce the HIV/AIDS casualties and prevent the spread of the disease in the municipality.
He said his outfit would collaborate with the various health facilities in the municipality to organise regular health education talks at the OPD and antenatal care on selected diseases to educate the people on how to prevent it.
On reproductive health service, Dr Asare said the municipality's performance showed a decreased in coverage due to documentation challenges while family planning (FP) coverage also decrease due to shortage of FP commodities.
He added that supervised deliveries, post-natal care and antenatal care coverage also increased.
The medical director said the biggest challenge that hindered the implementation of their action plan for the year under review was inadequate funds, delay in National Health Insurance Scheme refund, inadequate staff, lack of accommodation for staff and the renovation of an abandoned clinic at Tromeso.
He gave the assurance that the directorate and all stakeholders in healthcare delivery in the municipality had pledged to work harder than before this year to ensure that the strategic objectives of the Ghana Health Service were implemented effectively.
Dr Asare mentioned some of the key activities to be pursued for the next half of the year as capacity building of staff through in-service training, scaling up Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) and PMTCT, fostering collaboration with private health facilities and all stakeholders in the municipality, scaling up the management of non-communicable diseases and reactivation of abandoned clinics.
He commended all key stakeholders such as the municipal assembly, non-governmental organisations, traditional authorities, departments and agencies and the communities for the assistance the directorate received from them to enhance the smooth implementation of health interventions in the municipality.
Dr Asare pledged to continue the collaboration this year to achieve its set targets and objectives for the year.