ADDRO engages stakeholders in report validation
By Rita Avoka, GNA
Accra, July 28, GNA- The Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organization (ADDRO) has engaged stakeholders in the West Mamprusi Municipal to validate and disseminate malaria ‘Test, Treat and Track’ (T3) study report.
The study conducted by ADDRO and its partners sought to assess the knowledge and adherence of the T3 policy among health facilities in Ghana.
The T3 policy is a World Health Organization’s (WHO) global malaria programme that seeks to support malaria-endemic countries in their efforts to achieve universal coverage with diagnostic testing and antimalarial treatment as well as strengthening their malaria surveillance systems.
In 2013, Ghana adopted the T3 policy and developed guidelines to implement it by updating the malaria case management guidelines and training health professionals on the implementation of the initiative.
The study funded by Comic Relief was undertaken in some selected health facilities in six districts in the country including Nzema East, Kintampo North, Kintampo South, West Mamprusi, Jirapa and Mpohor districts being the selected areas.
Mr Vitalis Agana Atambila, the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, ADDRO, said structured interviews were conducted with 209 patients at the various health facilities within Jirapa and West Mamprusi Municipalities.
He said District Directors of the Ghana Health Service in both Municipalities were also interviewed.
The study revealed that the districts often lacked Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits (RDTs), especially during malaria peak seasons.
The Municipal Directors of Health in both Municipalities attributed the intermittent shortages to failure to observe and adhere to minimum and maximum stock levels, poor record-keeping and high incidences of malaria during the peak seasons.
The stock-outs, they said, affected the adherence of clinicians to the T3 policy as its implementation was highly dependent on a constant supply of RDTs, other diagnostic equipment and ACTs.
The study disclosed that both Municipalities had inadequate microscopy testing facilities and mostly depended on RDTs.
On tracking, data showed that different tracking systems existed at the different levels of healthcare, CHPs, Health centres, government hospitals among others, with at least one person designated to track patients after they had been tested and treated.
Regarding the adherence to the T3 policy in health facilities, the study showed that an overwhelming number of respondents knew they needed to be tested before receiving malaria treatment.
It revealed that 163 respondents out of 209 attested to being tested before given treatment when they visited a health facility but some were not told the outcome of the test.
On treatment, the study stated that Artemather Lumefatrin (AL) was the most given malaria medication to patients followed by Artesunate Amodiaquine (AA) in health facilities in the districts.
Mr Benjamin Yamusah, a Nurse at the Walewale Municipal Hospital, commended ADDRO and its partners stating that the findings would enable them to identify the gaps in their service delivery and take steps to fill them.
He said the inability to follow-up on clients for review was due to the inadequate number of healthcare Personnel at the facilities.
He said many clients were reluctant to cooperate with them whenever they were referred to bigger health facilities.
He appealed to the government to supply the health facilities with adequate equipment and personnel to increase their testing capacity.