The child health records book, popularly called ‘Weighing Cards’ is in short supply nationwide.
Women who have delivered at the various health facilities in the country over the past year are lamenting about the difficulties in acquiring weighing cards.
The paper-based child health record, as used by the Ghana Health Service, is given to parents after birth. Standard health details such as the weight and height of infants as well as the developmental milestone such as first words and first time walking are all recorded in the book.
The health record book also serves as a guide to caregivers on breastfeeding, immunisation, homecare management, nutrition and family planning making the book an important tool in the promotion of child health.
Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira has blamed the shortage of the weighing cards on the fire that razed down the Central Medical Stores in Tema in January 2015 coupled with non-availability of money.
The Central Medical Stores is the medical warehouse for the Ghana Health Service, where all medicines and medical equipment are kept for distribution to health facilities in the country.
Most hospitals, clinic and CHPS compounds nationwide have been operating without weighing cards for the little over a year now compelling managers to rely on improvised means to keep records of lactating mothers and their children.
“It is all about money and there is no budgetary allocation to produce weighing cards. We have improvised ways of complimenting the shortage until such a time we can raise money for that purpose”; he said.
Dr Appiah Denkyira indicated that plans are in the offing to make mothers pay for the cards to ensure that they are readily available for use each time patients visit the facility in the future.