Prioritise the wellbeing of your children – GHS urges mothers

Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director General, Ghana Health Service (GHS), has urged mothers and caregivers to prioritise the wellbeing of children.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye said being conscious of the progress of their babies and adhering to the nutritional needs, vaccinations as well as the growth rate of their children were key, as it would ensure total protection and safeguard their future.

The Director General advised the mothers and caregivers when the GHS and partners toured the child Welfare Clinics at the Abokobi and Agbogba health and outreach Centres in the Ga East Municipality.

The monitoring formed part of activities to commemorate the African Vaccination Week, Child health promotion week and COVID-19 campaign week.

The first point visited was at Abokobi Health centre and Child Welfare Clinc (CWC) and later visited the Agbogba outreach centre, being operated within a Church premises, offering services such as immunization, weighing, education and counselling on nutrition and family planning, Covid-19 vac
cination, and Births registration.

The Director General, who interacted with the health workers at the facilities, commended their efforts, encouraging them to improve their services.

He emphasised the need to intensify education and counselling on vaccination, nutrition, and family planning services to caregivers.

‘It is important to check the growth rate of their children, checking to see if the child is doing well or not, educating them on the type of food to eat and when to eat is very critical.’

Briefing the media, Dr Kuma-Aboagye, indicated that it was necessary for the sector to monitor the progress of the CWC, and various services being offered to the people, hence identifying progress, challenges and the way forward was necessary.

He said by observation, the Municipality, which was densely populated, needed more outreach centres to beef up operations to serve the larger communities.

The team also visited Taifa Community, also within the Ga East municipality, where COVID-19 vaccines were being a
dministered, as part of the COVID-19 vaccination week campaign.

‘This is the usual campaign to achieve herd immunity. We set a target of 20.7 million to be fully vaccinated, which will ensure adequate protection for all,’ he stated.

‘So far, we have had about 57 per cent of the population fully vaccinated and 71 who have taken one shot only, which means that we still have a large population to cover and that is why we are also embarking on the campaign to capture everyone just as the routine vaccination on child welfare,’ he added.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye disclosed that 40.1 per cent of the target had been achieved, within two days into the campaign, anticipating a surge among the public, getting to the latter part of the exercise, adding that if everything went well, the target would be exceeded and would help to achieve, herd immunity to ensure total protection for all citizenry.

Dr Frankline Asiedu Bekoe, Director of Public Health, GHS, also entreated the mothers and the public to adhere to the safety protocol
s while urging them to come out in their numbers to take the jabs, as the highly trusted measure of preventing the diseases.

He said the virus was still existent, hence need to accept the vaccines as well as adhering to the protocols.

The Director General was accompanied by Dr Franklin Asiedu-Bekoe, Director of Public Health, Dr Kwame Amponsa-Achianu, Programme Manager, Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), and Dr Marion Okoh-Owusu, Director of Health Promotion.

The rest were Dr Michael Adjabeng, Surveillance Officer, World Health Organisation (WHO) Ghana, Dr Akosua Agyeiwaa Owusu-Sarpong, Greater Accra Regional Director of Health, and Dr Selorm Botwe, the Municipal Health Director, Ga East, among others.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Most throat injuries in children occur in homes where soap is made -Prof. Tettey

Professor Mark Mawutor Tettey, the Head of the Department of Surgery, University of Ghana Medical School (UG), says most throat injuries in children occur in homes where soap is made.

He said such children accidentally consummed caustic soda, an active ingredient in soap making, leading to caustic injury, which ‘damages structures in the oral cavity, pharynx, and oesophagus.’

The Professor was delivering an inaugural lecture at Great Hall of the University of Ghana on the topic, ‘The Scourge of Caustic Burns to the Throat: Challenges of Restoring a Normal Swallowing Mechanism.’

‘When these women are making the soap at home, at the end of the day, they end up keeping some of the dangerous substances in the containers like bowls, water bottles, and cups.

Children, after playing for a while, reach out for cups to drink water, while caustic soda is tasteless, odourless, and colourless. They drink the caustic soda in the water before they realize that they have taken poison. This can potentially cause a causti
c injury that will need urgent medical surgery, ‘he said.

Prof. Tettey said patients who survived the initial treatment of caustic ingestion were presented with a long-term complication of severe damage to their upper tract.

He said about 80 per cent of caustic injuries in Ghana were limited to the oesophagus, and 90 per cent of the patients were children.

Caustic injuries to the aerodigestive tract occur when individuals accidently or intentionally ingest strong acid alkali.

Caustic soda is a strong alkali and has devastating consequences when it encounters tissues.

The chemical reaction that ensues leaves behind chemical burns with necrosis that can penetrate very deeply into tissues and organs,’ he said.

Prof. Tettey said the Ghana Cardiothoracic Centre was motivated to work on a procedure that would eliminate the use of tracheostomies in patients.

The search for a solution, he said, led to the development of a procedure called Colon-Flap Augmentation Pharyngoesophagoplasty.

He said more than 20 pa
tients had benefitted from the Colon-Flap-Augmentation Pharyngoesophagoplasty procedure and the outcomes were excellent.

Prof. Tettey advised stakeholders to work assiduously to prevent the exposure of the vulnerable to the accidental ingestion of caustic soda.

He urged the Government to formulate policies and laws to regulate the import, packaging, and sale of ‘this dangerous substance and educate the end users, especially the illiterate and semi-literate mothers.’

Prof. Nana Aba Appiah Amfo, the Vice Chancellor of the University, said the medical discovery by the National Cardiothoracic Centre was a testament to good leadership, teamwork, and mentorship.

She called for effective regulation and education on the protocols for making soap at home.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Use of natural herbs can prevent hypertension?

Ghanaians have been urged to consider adding natural herbs to their diets as they have some healthy components that can help prevent and control the increasing rate of hypertension among the public.

Dr. Michael Tetteh, the Head of the Herbal Unit of the Tema General Hospital, who made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said natural herbs such as cinnamon, ginger, garlic, camomile, prekese (Tetrapleura tetraptera), lemon grass, and hibiscus carpels had anti-hypertensive properties that help manage hypertension.

Dr. Tetteh, who is also a herbal physician, explained that cinnamon had high levels of antioxidants that aid in managing hypertension by promoting blood vessel dilation, which relaxed the blood vessels and eased tension within the cardiovascular system.

He added that incorporating cinnamon into meals, whether in steaming meats or other dishes, can significantly lower the risk of developing hypertension, adding that prekese also acts similarly.

He cautioned, however, that peop
le who are already on anti-hypertensive medications should consult their doctors as taking both could lead to drug interactions that could drop the blood pressure too low.

He said sobolo (hibiscus carpels), when used as an anti-hypertensive, should be boiled raw without any additives to get its full benefits.

Touching on other lifestyles that could reduce the chances of contracting hypertension, he stressed the need for people to reduce their salt intake, noting that excessive salt consumption leads to high blood pressure.

Dr. Tetteh noted that it was important that people increase their consumption of foods containing potassium and magnesium, which played a vital role in regulating blood pressure levels.

He said incorporating foods rich in potassium and magnesium, such as beans, soya beans, peanuts, and avocado, could help manage hypertension effectively.

He further cautioned the public against consumption of saturated fats, such as the fatty parts of meat, but rather should opt for polyunsaturated fats
like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and turkey meat.

He stated that more foods rich in fibre, fruits, and vegetables should be part of the daily diet of people, as that could also promote heart health and contribute to the overall well-being of an individual.

The herbal doctor said a good diet could contribute to better heart health and aid in controlling blood pressure.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Don’t relegate your health to the backburner as you care or restore health for others – Women told

Women have been tasked to seek healthcare for themselves as they provide care for their families and work as professionals in their respective endeavours.

Brigadier General Felicia Twum- Barima, former Defence Attache’ of Cote’ d’Ivoire, urged women not to relegate their health to the backburner while they care for others or restore health to others.

She noted that often women in their bid to provide care for families and work as professionals turned to forget about their healthcare needs or relegated their health to the background.

‘As mothers let’s remember that we can only give care if we are fit ourselves. Our time spent networking with each other will help us to find balance between work and leisure.’

Brigadier General Twum-Barima was speaking at the maiden edition of the 37 Military Hospital’s Mother’s Day celebration held in Accra.

The day was used to celebrate the contribution of women, especially staff of the hospital and care givers and mothers whose children were on admission within the hospit

The day, which was under the theme: ‘ Ena’s Health is key,’ sought to empower women with health ideas that ensured good health, happiness and longevity.

The occasion also brought together clinicians who spoke stress management, basic diet tips and check- ups on women health.

It was laced with cooking competition and provision of awards to some outstanding women at the hospital.

Brigadier General Twum-Barima, who was the chairperson for the occasion, commended the hospital for setting aside a day to recognize and appreciate mothers and females of the various units.

According to her, review of literature and statistics indicated that healthcare workers faced many challenges and hazards to their health as compared to the general population.

‘From burn out to infections, exposure to chemicals among several others, our female caregivers face daily hazards while they care for others. Often, they give their best working tirelessly to restore health of others and neglect or relegate their health to the burn
er,’ she said.

Brigadier General Twum Barima recalled that women turned to give their best in various roles in their bid to possess qualities such as empathy, resilience, diligence and ability to mentor others.

According to her these attributes were also characteristics of every professional health worker who strive for excellence.

Colonel Francisca Aba Amakyi, Chief Nursing Officer, 37 Military Hospital, said Mother’s Day celebrations was going to be held annually to enable maximum participation of women, especially care givers at the hospital.

According to Colonel Amakyi the hospital would also used the occasion to award women and individuals special honours.

Panelists, comprising clinicians, called on women to engage in regular exercises, reduce the intake of sugary beverages, drink more water, and feed their minds with positivity.

Some staff of the hospital took time of their busy schedules to participate in a cooking competition held at the Officers Mess while various companies exhibited their prod
ucts during an exhibition.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Commercial Drivers trained on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid administration?

Some commercial drivers plying their trade within the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions have been trained in how to resuscitate a person with cardiac arrest and administer first aid to injured persons.?

The training brought together 20 drivers who were equipped with essential skills and knowledge in first aid administration and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for people who have suffered cardiac arrest.

Health experts say cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique that is useful in many emergencies in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped.?

The training exercise was organised by Jadarls Foundation, in partnership with KGL Foundation as part of the ‘Drive to Safe’ road safety campaign and with technical support from the University of Ghana Medical Centre (UGMC).

The drivers ply their trade on the Accra – Kumasi Highway and Accra – Eastern Region Highway and were drawn from the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA) a
nd Cooperative Drivers Union.

They were taken through hands-on CPR training (also called chest-only CPR or Compression-only CPR) where the first aider must take some emergency response protocols to ensure the safety of passengers and fellow road users.

These protocols are ensuring a safe environment, ascertaining consciousness or otherwise of the person, if the person is unconscious, tap the shoulder and ask loudly ‘Are you ok?’, direct someone to call 112 (ambulance) or do that himself if the need be before beginning CPR.

Madam Aisha Asante, Basic Life Support Instructor, UGMC, said, that CPR is a basic technique that every individual must learn to help one another in our communities, adding that it required training because the strength needed to resuscitate adults, children from age one to eight, and babies less than one year varies.?

She said CPR must be done quickly after the cardiac arrest and after the first aider had followed the safety protocols to avoid brain death if the brain had not received
oxygenated blood between 4 to 10 minutes.?

‘CPR applications do not give 100 per cent survival but the chances of being resuscitated are high. There must be 100 to 120 compressions per minute and after 10 minutes without oxygenated blood to the brain, the brain is damaged,’ Madam Asante said.?

Mr. Edmund Agbeve, Project Lead, Jadarls Foundation, said there was a need for improved emergency response skills among commercial drivers, with a focus on alarming accidents and casualties where an estimated 21,593 vehicles were involved in accidents with 1,985 deaths and 13,109 injuries between January to October 2022.

‘This initiative goes beyond imparting skills; it’s about instilling a culture of preparedness and swift response among our drivers. Equipped with CPR and first aid knowledge, they can save lives and mitigate the impact of accidents on our roads,’ he added.?

Mr Moro Ayana Sanda, Welfare Officer, Madina – Akuapem Station of GPRTU, said: ‘This exercise is a novelty for us and has given us the skills a
nd courage to help passengers and all people. We have a duty to educate our colleagues and transfer the knowledge we have acquired here to them. We look forward to the Foundations for periodic training.’

Participants were provided with first aid kits, educative booklets, and posters to support their learning and application of acquired skills.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Public Health nurse advocates collaboration among midwives

Madam Monica Sadungu, Upper East Regional Public Health Nurse, Ghana Health Service (GHS), has called for collaboration among nurses and midwives in the Region to reduce maternal mortality.

She said if midwives attended to expectant mothers, especially in rural health facilities and needed to refer to higher facilities, there was a need for effective communication between them and their counterparts at the receiving facilities.

‘When we collaborate as nurses and midwives on cases we manage and need to refer, we have to properly inform our colleagues in the next facility. When that happens, they will be well-informed about the patient and continue with the care,’ she said.

She emphasized a need for nurses and midwives at receiving facilities to give feedback on patients’ conditions to the referred facility.

Madam Sadungu, who is also a midwife with decades of experience, said this at a stakeholder engagement during the sharing of an audiovisual documentary on Maternal and Child Health (MCH) innovations in
the Region.

The meeting was organized by the Participatory Action for Rural Development Alternatives (PARDA), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) on health, with technical and financial support from Oxfam in Ghana, an international NGO.

Madam Sadungu attributed some maternal deaths in the Region to the inability of some midwives to refer to the previous obstetric history of pregnant women to enable them to appropriately render services.

‘So, this call is not only for midwives but all nurses across the various facilities. With teamwork, we shall succeed,’ the Public Health nurse added.

Dr Michael Wombeogo, Executive Director of PARDA, said if officials of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) worked in a team with stakeholders in the health delivery system, maternal mortality would significantly be reduced if not prevented.

He said PARDA since 2009 started the MCH programme, which was implemented in eight Districts and in each District, was implemented in three communities totalling 24 communities in the Regio
n and the stakeholder engagement intended to share achievements and impact of the programme with officials of the GHS.

‘I remember in 2014, Upper East was leading in maternal and child mortality reduction in Ghana, and it was all about what we were doing differently in the various communities in the districts.

Dr Wombeogo said if the GHS could upscale and improve on what was started, maternal and child morbidity would be reduced to meet Sustainable Development Goal Three.

He advocated men’s participation in the entire pregnancy cycle of their partners, saying ‘Men cannot carry a pregnancy, but they must support their partners to carry the pregnancy with love. Whatever love they show to their pregnant wife, the same love is transferred to the unborn child.

‘So, the importance of the man in the life of the pregnant woman cannot be underestimated, and that is why we want to advocate that the presence of the spouse through ante-natal Clinic, labour and through delivery is very significant,’ he said.

Mr. Moha
mmed Mahamud, Programme Manager, of Accountable Governance of Oxfam in Ghana, said the objective of Oxfam was to ensure that there was no injustice anywhere in the world and noted that Oxfam believed injustice anywhere was injustice everywhere.

‘So, when we provide this kind of support, the idea is to first provide access to the excluded and marginalized communities and also to show to people that there are solutions to dealing with the problems that we encounter in our communities,’ he said.

Mr Mahamud noted that the initiative was not intended to fill gaps but to show the government the way to deal with the issue of MCH, ‘So when we found that there was an issue to do with MCH in Upper East, we came out with this package together with PARDA.

‘And the aim was not just to give them money to fill the gap that government had left, but to tell government actors that this is one of the ways we can deal with MCH issues,’ he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency