Dormaa Ahenkro (B/A), Jan. 1, GNA - Mr Kwaku Agyemang Manu, the Minister of Health, on Monday said government would this year take delivery of about 275 new ambulances for each district across the country.
He said the procurement of the ambulances is factored and is part of the one million dollar, one constituency agenda promised by the government, "We want to ensure that each district has at least one ambulance".
The Minister lamented that for the past eight years, the nation's ambulance stock, which was supposed to be increased and maintained year after year was not done, stressing "even those which had already been purchased were not operational, money has already been paid but we cannot use them".
"We are still talking about how to address this outstanding problem", he added.
Mr Agyemang Manu said this at a Cocktail Party organised by the Ansu Ababio Paediatric Centre (AAPC) of the Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital to solicit for funds for its Sick Kids Fund.
He said already tender had been entered for the supply of another 15 more ambulances for the sector Ministry, there are plans for additional 200 more ambulances, 50 more through a grant and a final 30 more later in the course of the year.
"We want to build the ambulance stock for the country", he stated.
The Minister said that after consultations with some senior medical officers, there were plans by government to decentralise the work of teaching hospitals in the country.
He stated that Dormaa Presbyterian Hospital had been selected for upgrade to become a small teaching hospital for graduates of the medical school for their internship and housemanship.
"During the course of the year, these interns would be announced, some of them would be sent to the AAPC", he added.
He urged health personnel to intensify public education on public health issues to prevent the loss of lives and called on members of the public who have not yet registered on the health insurance scheme to do so particularly for the registration of children.
Mr Agyemang Manu promised to support health facilities nationwide including the AAPC in whichever way he can, by leading in efforts to provide a Paediatric ambulance for the Centre.
He encouraged individuals and organisations to donate to the fund and not to leave the government to solely shoulder these responsibilities.
Dr Adoma Dwomoh-Fokuo, the Paediatrician In-Charge of the Centre, said an e-learning room had been set up for the Centre to link up and tap knowledge and expertise from other foreign specialists who can help deal with very complicated and difficult cases.
"We have also created a website to get our partners to be informed of our activities and enhance transparency and accountability, mobile phones to connect with various clinics in communities in Wamfie, Nkrakwanta, Aboabo, Wamanafo, Kyeremasu for referral cases, teachers in the hospital to teach children through collaborations with the Ghana Education Service(GES)", she added.
There is also a neuro developmental clinic and we have a paediatric neurologist from South Africa who occasionally helped us deal with particular cases, she stressed.
Giving statistics on cases, she said in 2013, 50 out of 100 pre-terms died whiles in 2017, seven out of 100 died, recording a general improvement, babies of 1-28 days of life in 2016, 18 out of 100 deaths were recorded, this has been reduced to 16.3 per cent.
For children under five years, in 2016 recorded 32 per of 1000 deaths but in 2017 recorded 25 per 1000, while infant mortality recorded 22 per 1000 in 2016, drastically reducing to 18.6 per cent, she added.
Dr Adoma-Fokuo called for more support for the Centre to enable it procure more equipment and perform more surgeries as it introduces the year of the client initiative to make the centre attractive to children.
By Robert Tachie Menson, GNA