Dr Joseph Teye Nuertey, Volta Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has disclosed that the region was making giant strides towards the accomplishment of the Millennium Development Goals Four and Five (MDGs 4&5) indicators using its institutional data as proxies.
He said the region recorded maternal mortality ratio of 162 deaths per 100,000 live births with the under fives mortality, recording as low as 15 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2013.
Dr Nuertey made these disclosures at the 40th Anniversary celebration of the Midwifery Training School at Hohoe, and stated however, that the figure was exclusive of community deaths, but a huge indication of making positive gains to meet targets.
He pointed out that the success could be attributed to the effective implementation of defined strategies and interventions by the GHS.
The global MDG targets maternal mortality deaths of 185 deaths per 100,000 live births and that of under five year mortality rate of 30 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Dr Nuertey said the country was, however, not making rapid progress towards the attainment of the MDGs Four and Five.
He attributed the challenges to health system factors, attitudinal issues, socio-economic and cultural factors, as well as poor transportation and communication system.
The Regional Director disclosed that two projects are being mainstreamed in six Municipal and districts, to improve maternal and child healthcare in the region, namely, the Korean International Cooperation (KOICA) and the Korean Foundation for International Healthcare (KOFIH).
He said key components of the these projects were staff capacity building and provision of logistics, including the deployment of “Motorkings” as mobile clinics, to reach areas, thus bringing healthcare closer to the foothold of all.
On the Cholera outbreak, Dr Nuertey said a total of 699 cases were recorded in nine districts with 10 deaths, with the worst hit Hohoe alone reporting 257 cases.
He entreated all health training institutions to make student discipline their hallmark “recognizing that churning out numbers is good though, but instilling the right attitudes and work ethics is even far more critical.”
Dr Nuertey urged these institutes to mainstream the teaching and learning of information and communication technology (ICT) to induce efficiency and effectiveness and become relevant in the scheme of things.
He commended health professionals in the region for their dedication and commitment to duty.
Dr Nuertey urged the people, including health workers, to be extra cautious and vigilant about the Ebola disease for possible containment, if there was an outbreak. GNA