The Ejisu-Juaben Municipality is seeing a disturbing rise in HIV infection among pregnant women, something that has become a huge health concern.
One hundred and fifty-three (153) out of a total of 6,196 pregnant women screened for the infection in 2017, tested positive.
Mrs. Josephine Ahorsu, the Municipal Health Director, said in the year 2016, 59 of them were found to be carrying the virus.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of the annual performance review meeting of the municipal health directorate in Ejisu, she indicated that, within the two-year period, 141 HIV-infected pregnant women were put on anti-retroviral therapy (ART).
She said they had upped the fight against the spread of the infection through the combination of comprehensive public education and screening of pregnant women.
She added that, their goal was to find the HIV status of those pregnant, properly counsel and provide them with drugs, to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
Mrs. Ahorsu said they were making good progress as more pregnant women, who had been infected were being identified and supported.
She pointed out that, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, was critical to save babies born to HIV infected parents from getting the disease.
She announced that 16 tuberculosis (TB) patients – nine men and seven women, screened for HIV were also found positive.
Mrs. Ahorsu touched on hypertension and diabetes, and said these non-communicable diseases were also on a surge with cases of hypertension, climbing from 1,494 in 2016, to 2,791 in 2017, while diabetes rose from 515 to 828, during the period.
She spoke of significant reduction of malaria cases – dropping to 40,624, last year, from the 2016 figure of 46,289.
This notwithstanding, she said, it continued to be the leading out-patient department (OPD) morbidity in the municipality.
She identified inadequate staff accommodation, lack of vehicles, equipment and logistics as challenges they had been struggling with and called for strong support.
Mrs. Ahorsu praised the chiefs, municipal assembly and health workers for working together to improve the quality of healthcare.