Aflao Port Health saves country from potential cholera outbreak last year

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Aflao, June 12. GNA – The Ghana Health Service (GHS) Ketu South Directorate’s 2018 Annual Report has indicated that the vigilance of the Port Health unit of the service prevented two travellers carrying cholera from entering the country through the Aflao Border.

The two, who arrived separately along the Nigeria-Benin-Togo corridor, were investigated, quarantined, treated and discharged to continue their journey.

Mr Joseph Degley, GHS Ketu South Municipal Director, who disclosed this at 2018 Annual Review meeting at Aflao, said but for that proactive work, the infection would have infiltrated into the country, sparked an outbreak and dented the nation’s clean cholera record.

“But for that stoppage, the infection would have infiltrated in to spark an outbreak, dent the country’s clean cholera record last year”, Mr. Degley said.

Mr. Degley, who also doubles as the area’s Head of Disease Surveillance, told the Ghana News Agency there were reported cases of cholera outbreaks in Benin and Nigeria at the time the two arrived at the Border.

He said the unit ensured maximum protection of the country against the international spread of diseases, did timely and accurate collection and dissemination of international public health information, regulating and supervising environmental health at the borders.

The Unit, Mr Degley said strengthened implementation of the International Health Regulation 2005 (IHR 2005) and is collaborating with the Border Security Committee to enhance its role in securing the country against the infiltration of communicable diseases through travellers.

Mr Degley said the unit’s staff have also been sensitised in Syndrome PC Surveillance methods, sharpening their skills in disease investigations.

He said there was a decline in TB cases detection from 290 in 2017 to 172 last year, but HIV positive cases increased to 415 last year from 318 in the year before.

Mr Degley said there was an increase in positive malaria cases from 18,330 before to 18,707 last year, but there was reduction in malaria fatality, malaria in pregnancy as well as in under five malaria deaths.

He said there was a significant drop in teenage pregnancy from 13.2 percent to 11.8 percent last year as a result of the formation of Adolescent Health Clubs in several schools in the area in collaboration with the Municipal Directorate of Education.
The Health Director lamented their failure to meet their “target of Zero tolerance for maternal deaths”, and registering two such deaths in 2018, the same as in 2016 and 2017.

According to him, supervised deliveries increased from 4,510 cases or 58.2 percent from 4,274 or 57 percent in 2017, but infant mortality decreased from 11 to eight, still births going down from 38 to 27, while home visits improved from 20,786 to 26,759.

He expressed gratitude to local and international entities, including; Healthy Village Incorporated of America, Jessey Brooks Foundation, America, Health Keepers Network, On the Move EV of Germany, USAID, ALCO Health Keepers Network and KOICA for their immense support in care delivery.

He lauded the collaboration of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), their main financier, and the Municipal Assembly for opening up more CHPS Compounds.
While commending the health staff and other stakeholders for their hard work, Mr. Degley lamented the high energy bills, leading to some facilities including; CHPS Compounds been disconnected from electricity supply, and also assured the public quality care remains his outfit’s target.

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