MOH And Partners Sign Aide Memoire - To Climax Health Summit
5/3/2012 8:31:03 AM -
The Royal Netherlands Ambassador, Mr Gerard Duijfjes, has led a team of health partners to sign an aide memoire to climax the 2012 Health Summit held in Accra.
The document between the Ministry of Health and the partners emanated from the business meetings of the summit and contains resolutions, reaffirmations and commitments of the partners towards the sector's goals of providing quality healthcare for Ghanaians and to assist the health sector with interventions to address the challenges identified in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
The week-long summit provided a platform for the Ministry and its agencies, partners, stakeholders and civil society to reflect on their performance in the sector to map out the way forward and renew their commitment towards the people was on the theme: “Going Beyond Strategy to Action; All Hands on Deck for Millennium Development Acceleration Framework.”
It also presented the health sector and its partners, stakeholders and civil society an opportunity to review the sector’s performance over last year and access whether the levels of performance conformed to the levels of investment made over the period.
Health Minister, Mr Alban Kinsford Sumana Bagbin, expressed gratitude to the health partners and other stakeholders for exhibiting high levels of commitment and resolution to find lasting solutions to the sector's challenges.
He indicated that although Ghana had achieved tremendous successes in various areas of healthcare delivery, there was still a long way to go to achieve the MDGs by the stipulated date.
“However, with this renewed commitment, I am optimistic that Ghana will be able to overcome the numerous challenges and forge ahead at a faster rate in order to attain sustainable healthcare for her people,” he said.
Mr Bagbin admitted that the health sector in Ghana had both the professional expertise as well as architectural designs to deliver quality services to the people and urged stakeholders to work hard towards the set targets.
He expressed the hope that the sector would present a success story by its review meeting next year.
Mr Duijfjes, who spoke on behalf of the health partners, explained that the meeting was able to map out interventions and strategies to address the various concerns raised by stakeholders on various areas of healthcare which needed urgent interventions.
Mr Duijfjes said concerns were raised on maternal and child health, regional variations in HIV prevalence, as well as low investments in family planning and improvement - the current access rate - since improved family planning had a link with reducing maternal mortality.
He expressed worry over the sustainability of the National Health Insurance Scheme for the long term and described it as “being at risk” and stressed the need to scale up interventions to at least to meet MDG 5.
Mr Duijfjes called on all partners and stakeholders to join efforts and rally behind the theme to ensure its long term sustainability to improve healthcare service delivery and meet the MDGs, which were barely three years away.
Earlier in the week at the opening of the Health Summit, Mr Bagbin called for the goodwill of all partners to ensure that the health agenda of the country was pursued.
Mr Bagbin explained that it was unique in many ways and offered a lot of credibility to the sector’s actions and achievements.
Mr Bagbin admitted that although the sector had achieved so much over the year under review, in terms of service delivery and infrastructureal development, it had to double its efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) by 2015.
He admitted the fact that the theme of the summit itself signalled that Ghana might be behind in many of the MDGs targets and therefore, there was an urgent need for the sector to stop flagging its challenges and aim at addressing them to achieve the goals.
Mr Bagbin urged all stakeholders to demonstrate high levels of moral commitment and support towards key health interventions in the county.
He affirmed that there are still challenges in the high maternal and under-five mortality, good nutrition in children, increase burden in non-communicable disease as well as the rural-urban divide in the provision of service and infrastructure.
'It appears that Ghana is slipping in these interventions and called for attitudinal change by all, particularly health care providers, towards patients and the continuous support of MOH partners to sustain the sector's interventions for the achievement of the 2015 MDG targets.'
The Health Minister, however, outlined the numerous aspirations of the ministry as well as government’s policies and programmes to secure the health of the country, but cautioned the health sector against deviating from its intended targets for the year as a result of it being an election year.
Mr Bagbin said the sector had over the years benefited from the annual health summits to learn and understand the reasons for its non-performance in many areas and identified both management and technical bottlenecks that militated against its performances.
He said “with the calibre of personnel at our disposal and the kind of partnership arrangements we have in the health sector, Ghanaians will not forgive us if we fail to meet their health needs.”
He said the sector must now focus attention on strategies that would deliver health to the people of Ghana.
'We need to go beyond the numerous strategies that had been initiated over the years to real action with a focus on how to deliver healthcare to Ghanaians.
Chief Director, MOH, Dr Sylvester Anemane, explained that instead of the normal two summits in a year, it had been agreed upon by stakeholders to run only one summit each year in April, starting from this year.
He explained that this would allow ample time for data collection and compilation for discussions. -GNA