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Paediatric Society of Ghana holds annual conference

By
Christabel Addo/Linda Baah, GNA
   

Accra, July 14, GNA –
Members of the Paediatric Society of Ghana (PSG) on Friday, converged in Accra
for a two-day annual conference on the theme: “Every Child Matters”, to address
issues regarding the general well-being of children and young people.

The conference would
also create the platform for members to review the past performances of the
Society, open up for new membership and encourage networking for enhanced
paediatric health care delivery, to the redress of the challenges leading to
maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.

Dr Ebenezer Badoe, the
President of the Paediatric Society of Ghana, in his welcome address said there
was currently a host of challenges affecting the health dynamics of the
country, citing the population growth, rapid urbanisation, poor health leading
of Ghanaians, leading to high birth and death as well as morbidity rates, poor
infrastructure, and the huge health expenditure resulting in poor quality of
services as a wake-up call for action.

He said child psychiatric
disorders had also become a common phenomenon in cases seen daily in the
various health facilities, most of them attributable to poor antenatal and
neonatal care.

He said the enormous
challenges ahead required strengthened collaboration with all stakeholders with
the requisite knowledge and skills, as well as a multi-disciplinary approach in
terms of training and financing, to deal with the childhood health problems of
Ghanaians.

He called for the need
to look at the national context and improve services for children in order to
attain the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that aimed at addressing the root
causes of poverty and a universal need for development for all people.

Dr Issabella Sagoe
Moses, the Director of the Family Health Division of the Ghana Health Service,
said although Ghana had made some strides in reducing under five mortality and
morbidity rates, by introducing interventions to reduce the burden of malaria,
pneumonia, diarrhoea and malnutrition, there was still more work to be done.

She said the Society
must champion advocacy and sharpen their skills on universal child health
provision, with particular focus on children with disabilities, their
rehabilitation, rights, nutrition and care.

Professor Jennifer
Welbeck, an Associate Professor in Paediatrics at the Department of Child
Health at the University of Ghana School of Medicine and Dentistry, addressing
a topic on the “Paediatric care in Ghana: The past, the Present and the
Future”, said neo-natal mortality had not seen much gains over the past years,
which contributed to the failure in meeting the Millennium Development Goals.

She however expressed
the hope that with the current doubled efforts by all stakeholders,
infrastructure upgrades, scaled up training by nursing and midwifery
institutions, and political commitment, the minimum resources available to the
health sector could be effectively utilised to address the challenges.

Dr Hilda Mantebea
Boye, the Secretary to the Greater Accra Branch of the Society, gave highlights
on Neo-natal Jaundice, which was a major cause of brain damage in infants,
citing some of the cause as infection in baby’s blood, viral or bacterial
infections, incompatibility between the mother and the baby’s blood, liver
malfunction as well as enzyme deficiency.

She cited some of the
reasons for the late presentation of such cases by mother to ignorance,
misconception, myths as well as misinformation by health professionals.

She called for
intensified public education on Neo-natal Jaundice, which was currently a major
contributor to morbidity and mortality in children.

GNA

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