Dr Osei Kuffuor Affreh, Oti Regional Health Directorate

The Oti Regional Health Directorate has conducted its 2020 health performance review to take stock of events and do SWOT analyses of health delivery in the region.

This is the first annual review meeting following the creation of the in 2019. Following this, the regional health directorate also became operational on May 4, 2020.

The Oti region has 204 health facilities comprising of four government hospitals, 32 health centres, 160 CHPS compounds, two private facilities and six Catholic health facilities – two of which are hospitals.

The region also has one midwifery and nursing training school.

Covid-19 Pandemic

While commending health practitioners, MDAs, Security services, chief and people in the region for the tactful handling of the virus in the region, the regional director of health, Dr Osei Kuffour Afreh said some health workers in the region have been infected with the virus.

“When you go to war, you win and record some casualties and injuries. Unfortunately, we also have some of our health workers succumbing to the virus but with no deaths,” he said.

In 2020, the region recorded 244 confirmed cases of Covid-19 with four associated deaths.

In 2021, the region as of March 9, the region has recorded 89 cases of Covid-19 with no associated deaths.

Dr Afreh also revealed that between 5th and 9th March 2021, the region has recorded 50 new active cases, half of which are health workers.

“I would like to state clearly here that just between March 5 to 9, we have added on 50 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 of which about half of them are health workers.

The majority of the active cases recorded so far are coming from the Nkwanta South Municipality and the Kadjebi district.

Covid-19 Vaccines

The Oti Region is yet to receive its consignment of the Covid-19 vaccines but Dr Osie Kuffour is asking municipal and district directors of health in the region to compile names of all health workers in the region for early vaccination.

“Some vaccines are available to take care of all health workers in the country, so I entreat our district directors and medical superintendents to quickly compile names of all health workers so that we can work it and get ourselves vaccinated.

“We are at the forefront of fighting the Covid and on the battlefield, you always get some injuries. So once health workers are being hit, the earlier we get vaccinated the better.”

TEENAGE PREGNANCY

Dr Osei Kuffour Afreh again revealed that the number of teenage girls getting pregnant in the region is on the rise. Dr Afreh proposed to have a stakeholder engagement with chiefs MDAs in the region, community and opinion leaders to curb the menace.

He added that men who are often involved in this worrying development are men of good standing in the various communities.

“Percentage of teenage pregnancy saw a marginal increase from 14 per cent to 15 per cent, and this is very serious. So, we call on traditional authorities and all stakeholders to support bringing down the number of teenagers or young girls becoming pregnant in their respective communities.

“We expect the young girls to be in school and not getting pregnant. But the question is who is getting them pregnant?”

Achievement

Dr. Osei Kuffour among other things stated that, the percentage of skilled deliveries attended to by trained health personnel increased from 48.6 per cent in 2019 to 52.2 per cent in 2020. Institutional mortality ratio 87 per 100,000 live births.

Challenges

The challenges identified in the mid-year review by the directorate have not received the needed attention and still affecting quality heath delivery in the region.

The regional directorate has only two vehicles for its operations, this, officials have said is affecting monitoring and supervision works.

The non-acceptance of postings to the region by medical doctors has also come up again as one of the factors seriously affecting quality health delivery.

One doctor now serves up to 26,000 patients in a facility. One nurse currently is also serving over 440 clients while one midwife serves over 4,000 mothers.

Of 11 doctors posted in 2020, only one had reported for duty. Meanwhile, the region continues to grapple with inadequate health facilities as the region can boast of only four hospitals.