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16.01.2009 Health

Quashigah bids farewell to Health Ministry

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Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd), former Minister of Health, has urged various heads of agencies to demonstrate absolute cooperation with the in-coming Minister.

“The work you are doing is not for any political party. You're here to serve Ghanaians and let that guide you in your work,” he said when he met with the heads of agencies in the health sector to offer his parting words to them.

The former Minister was accompanied by his Deputy, Dr (Mrs) Gladys Ashitey, and former Chief Director, Lepuwura M.N. Jawula.

Major Quashigah expressed his appreciation for the cooperation and friendship of the various heads and urged them to extend the same to the in-coming minister.

He commended them for accepting to carry on with the Ministry's new policy that emphasised health promotion and prevention. It aims at improving the health status of Ghanaians through promoting healthy lifestyles with emphasis on nutrition.

It is also to improve health and nutritional status in children and ensure that their physical and mental development lays the foundation for a more productive nation.

Major Quashigah encouraged the heads of agencies to continue with some programmes such as the Inter-Agency Development Committee and Posting Committee and urged them to continue exhibiting responsible leadership and avoid witch-hunting.

“In leadership, you do not do away with people who are considered as 'bad nuts' but rather work as a team with a common goal of achieving good health care for the people,” Major Quashigah said.

“You are the eye of the people of Ghana therefore I entreat you to review the manifesto of the new government and consider the health aspect factoring into it the national vision,” he added.

Major Quashigah expressed regret about the comments made by the Transition Team of the new government accusing him of rushing to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Chinese government.

He explained that the MOU was singed in December 2007 for the commencement of a 100-bed capacity general hospital for malaria in Accra.

The hospital, to be sited at Teshie, is a total grant from the Chinese government. The design, construction and supervision would be done by the government.

He said a malaria research component was also factored in, adding that would not affect the incoming government in any way as it was a grant and the outcome would benefit Ghanaians as a whole.

The establishment of the hospital and the research centre would bring together the orthodox and traditional Ghanaian medicine for smooth administration of health.

Dr. George Amofa, Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, and the other heads commended the former Minister for the rich experience he brought to the ministry and appealed to him to consider being an advocate for health funding, which was a major headache for the health sector.

“We also appreciate so much your ability in bringing the fragmented ministry together as one family and promise to ensure that it does not disintegrate as you leave us,” he added.

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