The Country Awards Council – Ghana has named Ghana's Former Minister for Health, Major Quashigah, FGNAHAF as Africa's Best Health Minister in recent times and Ghanaians should be proud.
The Award will be presented to the Former Health Minister later this month in Accra.
This recognition is as a result of Quasigah's outstanding and exceptional contribution towards initiating a national health education on healthy lifestyle living and nutrition in Ghana and his efforts has grandly become extremely successful since the Africa Union has called on member states to declare the last Friday of each year as Africa's Healthy Lifestyles Day. A decision the AU took in July 2008.
In a letter addressed to the Former Health Minister, Major Quashigah by Prince Immanuel Ben – Yehuda of the African Israelite Hebrew Development Agency dated 8th March 2009, it reads “Their efforts certainly serve as vindication of the vision that you had, to develop a new paradigm for health in Africa which has its core the prevention of diseases. But also the AU/WHO programme represents a tribute to you and the people of Ghana for leading in a direction in which all of the continent can benefit. For truly all are benefiting from your vision, courage and genuine for our people.”
The letter further said “I am taken aback the story you shared with us about how you sat on the side of your bed and wept upon your appointment to head the health ministry, wondering how you could transform it from “a spending ministry,” to that which assisted the President and the nation to meet economic development goals. Verily God heard the sincerity in your plea and you have accomplished that and much more. Today we testify that the entire continent is prepared to follow your example.”
The beginning of this effort by Ghana's Former Health Minister was necessitated when he once visited a small town in Israel. Quasigah's enormous efforts dates back to 4th October 2005 when he featured in a press briefing at Ghana's Ministry of Information where he delivered a paper on “Creating Wealth through Health, a New Paradigm shift for Ghana's Development” with focus on nutrition, healthy lifestyle and preventive health with curative medicine as the last result.
In a background history of the community during the press briefing, Major Quashigah said “The African Israelite Hebrew Community in Israel has a population of about 3000 African American people who migrated to Israel and through the adoption of healthy lifestyle and environment, has been able to overcome the health problems facing Africans and people of African descent today”.
In addition he stated that, “Dimona, popularly known as the “Village of hope in Israel” has modelled its health care on health promotion and disease prevention instead of treatment; citing that after 38 years of actively promoting lifestyle changes including regular exercise, and environmental cleanliness, Dimona has effectively eliminated most communicable diseases and more especially, non – communicable diseases we treat in Africa today.
“In fact Dimona has been extensively studied by renowned researchers from diverse fields and they have been amazed at their findings. These include no single record of the following: heart disease, diabetics, prostrate cancer, infant and maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS; and malaria said the Former Health Minister”.
After having toured the length and breath of Ghana, inaugurating keep fit clubs, constructing regenerative and nutrition health centres, personally designing adverts and posters to be put on television and bill boards, moving from one second cycle school to the other and finally ensuring that government came out with a national health policy in September 2007 with emphasis on creating wealth through health, Major Quasigah's fight for this course to promote this initiative did not end in Ghana.
He went an extra mile to further deliver a speech on Health Education, Healthy Lifestyle Living and Nutrition at the Commonwealth Health Ministers Conference in Geneva in 2006 and the African Union Health Ministers Conference in South Africa in 2007.
As of now, Britain and other countries have reintroduced cookery and nutrition as a subject to be studied by students thereby ensuring that everyone has first hand information on proper food intake of diets such as low sugar, low fat, low salt etc., and further reinforcing their physical education in schools and amongst the entire citizenry.
Why should Ghana not be proud of this, the pace setters yet we falling behind an initiative we have propounded, still having huge health expenditures thereby weakening our economy because of the adoption of western of life.
These obvious and envious, invaluable, unique and exemplary leadership contributions as Ghana's former Minister for Health made him to be admitted into the WEST AFRICA NOBLES FORUM IN 2005.
In addition, the West African Noble's Forum crowned Quashigah as the BEST HEALTH MINISTER in West Africa for the year 2008.
Today Quasigah's legacy has stood the test of time, redefining Africa's Excellence and once again making Ghana the pace setter in African Affairs. It is of no doubt that one sole, armed with truth courage and dedication can change the destiny of a nation.
Major Quashigah is a Distinguished Leader of Great Humane, A Governor, An Intelligent Statesman, An Expect in Intelligence, A Ranger, A Paratrooper, A Peacekeeper, A Warrior, A Defender, An Astute Politician, An Orator, A Youth Developer, A Musician, A Boxer, An Athlete, A Marshal Artist, An Agriculturalist, A Health Advocate, A Manager, An Administrator, A Strategist, A Policeman, A Holistic Soldier and Army Officer (Rtd.), A Facilitator, A Moderator, A Mentor and Role Model; A True Patriot and an Illustrious Son of Mother Ghana.
As one time Ghana's Minister for Food & Agriculture during the President Kufour's Administration, for the first time in many years, Ghanaians experienced abundant food supply all year round. Some of his greatest records made in that ministry were the perennial post harvest losses that were significantly reduced. Furthermore, the ministry also effectively promoted the processing, storage and packaging of agricultural products adding value to them while ensuring that Ghanaians eat nutritious diet from locally produced foods, commodities and products. In addition the Agricultural Policy was designed. His performance in this ministry made him to be adjudged the MINISTER OF THE YEAR RUNNER UP in 2002 by Ghanaians. In the year 2003 Quashigah was crowned as both the PERSONALITY and MINISTER OF THE YEAR.
This is a legacy of an illustrious son of Ghana that other Ministers of State and Ghanaians in general should emulate in order for a better Ghana to be built..
In conclusion, Ghana's Former Health Minister deserves to be honoured for such a brilliant display of patriotism for Ghana, far and beyond and service to humanity which will forever remain an unprecedented record in global history.
The council further wish to congratulate the men and women of all professionals back in the Ministry of Health for their support services and encourage them to keep up with the good work. God Bless Our Homeland Ghana And May God Bless The Black People.