01.09.2006 Health

Ghana To Develop New National Health Policy

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The Ministry of Health is developing a new National Health Policy that would shift from curative to health promotion and prevention of ill health.

The draft policy, which is currently receiving comments from stakeholders, would replace the current second Five Year Programme of Work from 2002 to 2006, which recognised improving the health of the poor as crucial in achieving accelerated and sustainable growth.

Ms Theresa A. Tagoe, Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, addressing participants in Accra on dissemination of the new national health policy said it would provide a comprehensive and holistic framework that would build on the progress made over the previous years.

She said very little attention had been given to mobilising individuals, communities and sectors to promote good health and ensure healthy environs where people live, go to school and work.

She said over 90 per cent of diseases were preventable and malaria, upper respiratory tract infections, skin diseases, hypertension, pregnancy related conditions and road traffic accidents were identified as the leading causes of out patient attendance.

"If we maintain good environmental and personal hygiene, healthy lifestyle and exercise a little caution all the time we will not be over burdened with these diseases."

Ms Tagoe called for the improvement in environmental hygiene, sanitation, proper housing and town planning, provision of safe water, provision of safe food and practice of good nutrition, regular exercise, personal hygiene and prevention of injuries at work places and road accidents.

Mr Kofi Adusei, Head of the Ministry's Policy, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation Division, said there was the need for a paradigm shift and that the policy would provide measurers that would lead to actions to promote healthy lifestyles and environment.

"It will define the health industry as business entities that provide the needed manpower, material and financial resources for the health sector."

Mr Adusei explained that the new policy would recognise allopathic, traditional and alternative health providers and provide broad guidelines for the development of programmes by key stakeholders.

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