13th June 2024

Dr Patrick Kuma-Adoagye, DG of GHS

The 2022 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) results have shown an increased health insurance coverage and a decline in childhood anaemia rates since 2008.

Ninety percent of women and 73% of men aged 15-49 now have health insurance through the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Presenting the findings at the launch of the 2022 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) yesterday in Accra, the Government Statistician, Prof. Samuel Kobina Anim, acknowledged that the findings proved a significant increase from 2008 when only 40% of women and 30% of men were covered.

The survey also showed a reduction in anaemia among children aged 6-59 months, from 78% in 2008 to 49% in 2022. Regional variations exist, with anemia prevalence highest in the Northern Region at 69% and lowest in Ahafo at 35%.

On malaria prevention, he noted that 67% of households had at least one insecticide-treated net (ITN). However, only 47% have enough for each household member.

“Usage also remains low, with just 40% of the population having slept under an ITN the night before the survey,” he bemoaned.

For pregnant women, 60% reported taking the recommended three or more doses of intermittent preventive treatment (IPTp) to prevent malaria.

Among children tested, 9% were positive for malaria by microscopy, while 17% tested positive by rapid diagnostic test (RDT). Prevalence was higher in rural areas at 13% and 4% in urban areas.

Regional disparities

Taking his turn, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, pledged to address regional disparities in healthcare access and outcomes in the 2022 Demographic and Health Survey.

He acknowledged the progress made towards national health goals, including reduced maternal and child mortality, childhood anaemia, and under-five stunting.

The DHS statistics, according to him, showed “substantial regional disparities for almost all health indicators,” adding that “the gaps are most pronounced in newly created regions.”

To tackle this, Dr. Kuma-Aboagye stated that the GHS would focus on providing quality healthcare services through facilities and community outreach, especially in deprived areas.

“We plan to deliver high-quality essential services at both the facility and community levels. This will require the support of our media and the entire population,” the GHS Director-General emphasized.

He advocated increased domestic funding and closer collaboration with partners to address urgent health gaps highlighted in the 2022 DHS.

“We will continue to advocate for increased domestic funding to implement our shared priorities in the health sector and continue to improve access to essential services for all,” Dr. Kuma-Aboagye affirmed.

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