19.02.2008 Health

Health Promotion Policy Launched

19.02.2008 LISTEN

The Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, yesterday launched the National Health Promotion Policy in Accra .

The policy, which seeks to provide a framework for health development and practice, was developed in response to World Health Organisation's (WHO) recommendation to member countries especially in Africa on the need for formal policies on health promotion on the continent.

Reading a speech on behalf of the Director of Ghana Health Service, Dr Edmund Sori, the Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the Ministry of Health, Mr Frank Nyonator, stated that the policy would help influence behaviour change among individuals, families and communities as well as adopt positive lifestyles to promote their health.

'Behaviour being a complex process, the policy would enable individuals to reduce the risk factors associated with specific diseases, foster healthy lifestyles and encourage individuals to increase the use of available health services'. Mr Nyonator observed.

Mr Nyonator intimated that Ghana, like other developing countries in Sub-Sahara Africa is experiencing a myriad of health problems that need to be address, adding that the health promotion is a cost effective mechanism that is capable of addressing the broad determinants of health in the country.

The Director was hopeful that the key themes reflected in the policy will serve as a guide in the development of evidence-based health promotion interventions to improve the health of the population.

The WHO representative in Ghana, Dr Joaquim Saweka said the Health Promotion Strategy adopted by WHO/African region in 2001 emphasised on health promotion as a means of integrating the various methods and approaches to improving the health of the people, observing that the policy would be a step towards achieving some if not most of the recommendations of the WHO /African Strategy on health promotion

'We need to act fast and act fast to put a stop to the increasing rate of diseases especially chronic diseases that are easily preventable' Dr Joaquim Saweka advised.

The WHO representative was optimistic that the policy will guide the implementation of health promotion in the country to ensure that all major players are brought on board to take decisions affecting the health of the people.