By Florence Afriyie Mensah, GNA
Kumasi, Feb 27, GNA – Ashanti Region is making good progress in the fight against malaria as cases take a downward trend.
A total of 895,088 were seen at the out-patient department (OPD), last year, down from the 2016 figure of 992,187 and 1,036,761 in 2015.
Dr. Emmanuel Tinkorang, the Regional Health Director, however indicated that notwithstanding the decline, malaria continued to top OPD attendance, admissions and remained the leading cause of death among children under five years.
He announced this at the annual health performance review meeting of the regional health directorate in Kumasi.
“Improving data quality – a tool for achieving SDGs” was the theme chosen for the meeting which discussed the achievements, challenges and the way forward to raise the quality of healthcare.
Dr. Tinkorang said to help keep malaria cases further down, they were combining health education, environmental sanitation, insecticide-treated net distribution, accurate and prompt treatment and research.
He mentioned upper respiratory tract infections, rheumatism and other joint disorders, diarrhea and anemia as the other common diseases.
He touched on tuberculosis (TB) and put the treatment success rate at 87 per cent, a little below the national average of 88 per cent.
“TB case detection rate is still below the national target” he said, and added that this had been largely due to weak contact investigation together with inadequate diagnostic centers, poor documentation, stigma and what he termed “TB/HIV co-infection”.
Dr. Tinkorang said the directorate had made reproductive health a major priority and said 72.8 per cent of registered pregnant women attended antenatal clinic, last year, with average visit of more than four times per client.
“Skilled delivery and post - natal coverage also increased in the year”, he added.
At the same time, there was significant improvement in family planning acceptance with the preferred method being “Depo Provera”.
He praised the health workers for the hard work and professionalism and asked that this was sustained to save lives and bring healing to the sick.