A team of health experts led by the Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Victor Bampoe has began a five day working visit to the three northern regions and the Brong Ahafo region on Monday 11th January 2015 .
The deputy minister of health was accompanied by the Director General, Dr Appiah Denkyira and the Director Public Health, Dr. Badu Sarkodie of the Ghana Health Service.
The purpose of the tour was to acquaint themselves with; completed and on ongoing health infrastructural projects, strides achieved so far and assess the Pneumococcal meningitis and yellow fever outbreak.
The team took off in the Northern region where they were taking through a series of activities currently ongoing in the region.
Some Key healthcare developments worthy of note in the Northern region include;
• Dedicated Health Professionals passionate in delivering care to patients despite challenges.
• Interest by medical doctors and other health cadres to work in the region is increasing – 29 medical doctors voluntarily opted to work in the region in 2014 and 38 in 2015.
• The region is to have additional four district hospitals
.• Health assistants under the shortage of midwives have received training to attend to pregnant mother at the CHIPS/ health centers
• The number of midwifery cum health assistant training schools has increased to three.
• An Infectious disease treatment centre which is 60% complete.
• An Ebola Treatment Center (ETC) at the Tamale regional hospital about 60% complete.
• A new and functioning Magnetic resonance/scan centre at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
• A functional Dialysis centre, which receives referrals from the Upper East,Upper West including the Northern region, these cases would have otherwise been transferred to the Komfo Anokye teaching Hospital in Kumasi or the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra.
• A 500 bed capacity facility – a phase two project is undergoing to include surgical theatres, maternity and child wards, gas production and mortuary at the Tamale Teaching Hospital.
But the region is still with some pertinent challenges;
• Access – many continue to travel far distances to access adequate health care.
• The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) – claims could take to up to 6 months before payments are made to the facilities.
• There is the need for more health professionals especially midwives, whose numbers have reduced from 278 in 2014 to 260 in 2015.
• Infrastructure especially at the regional hospital is very appalling. The facility struggles with space with its numerous patients that visit.
The team is expected to continue the tour to the Upper East,Upper West and Brong Ahafo regions. Dr Victor Bampoe, deputy minister of health told Ghanahealthnest.com that they taking opportunity of the visit to share equally in the successes of health institutions in these regions.
Kobby Blay/Ghana Health Nest
Kobby Blay is the chief health editor at Ghanahealthnest.com. A professional practicing nurse with specialty in mental health and focus for health communications, public health, medical/documentary photography, ICT and systems perspective for health improvement.