West Nile leaders hold 5th annual health sector review mission

West Nile leaders hold 5th annual health sector review mission

By Andrew Cohen Amvesi 

ARUA. Medics in the West Nile region together with the local leadership have held the fifth regional joint health sector performance review mission.

The two-days review mission which attracted several stakeholders from all the districts of West Nile was held at Desert Breeze hotel in Arua City on Thursday and Friday under the theme: “Strengthening new born survival: A dear opportunity to realize universal health care coverage in West Nile region.”

Some of the participants during the performance review mission on Friday
Some of the participants during the performance review mission on Friday

Dr. Patrick Odongo, the Director of Yumbe regional referral hospital said the joint meeting was aimed at assessing the annual performance of the region and district health sector performance in 2022/2023 financial year within the context of the health strategic plan.

During the function, different health workers reviewed the health sector performance of the region based on last year’s joint review mission thus identifying achievements and also the challenges which need to be addressed during this financial year.

While presenting on the health centre IV functionality and maternal and child health performance, Dr. Emmanuel Odar, a Consultant Gynecologist at Arua regional referral hospital noted that in this thematic area, performance was generally not good across the region.

“The only positive that can be picked from this area is conducting a review of maternal death that occurs in the facilities. All districts reviewed the maternal deaths except Arua that had 75 per cent of the deaths reviewed. A number of districts probably reviewed the backlog from the previous year,” Odar said.

“Perinental deaths (Newborn Deaths and Stillbirths) were registered in all the districts. However, all districts except Arua City, Obongi and Terego reviewed more than 50 percent of the perinental deaths. Coverage rates have been poor for Antenatal Care (ANC) attendance and Immunization in the region,” Odar added.

He said teenage pregnancy rates are still high in all the districts except Adjumani and Moyo that registered rates of less than 15 percent teenage pregnancies and the highest being Zombo (28%) and Arua (27%).

On HIV performance, Dr. Wilson Ssenjokyo observed that the HIV prevalence rate in the West Nile region stands at 2.3 per cent with high infections being noticed in border districts of Zombo and Arua City including landing site districts and stop overs for truck drivers especially in Pakwach and Nebbi.

Ssenjokyo said the HIV viral suppression across the region is still below the national target with Yumbe contributing only 88 per cent.

He further said the age band of 20 – 29 years had the highest number of new HIV positives in the region.

According to Ssenjokyo, male partner testing and low case identification are still a challenge across the region.

Other key areas captured in the various presentations include malaria and nutrition performance, the state of Tuberculosis (TB), health infrastructure, the human resource for the health sector, morbidity, new vaccines uptake, drugs and health financing among others.

In his remarks, Moses Dalili, the Pakwach district Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) urged the district health teams of various districts not to wait for communication from the regional team to address the challenges facing the health sector in the region.

He asked the secretariat of the joint review mission to share the recommendations of the meeting so that when members get back, they will be able to develop action plans from the recommendations and move on to implement them.

While presiding over the function, John Sabuni, the Adjumani district secretary for health said as leaders, there is need for them to go back and improve on the areas of weakness so as to realize improvement in the health sector in the next performance review mission of the region.

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