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20.11.2009 Health

Pragmatic measures vital to attaining health related MDGs

Nurses at work at a local health facilityNurses at work at a local health facility
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Ghana would be incapable of attaining the three heath-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) unless pragmatic measures are taken to equip rural healthcare facilities with doctors, midwives and equipment to deliver "safe obstetrical procedures."

The health-related MDGs include reduction in child mortality, particularly children under five years old by two-thirds by 2015, improve maternal health and reduction in maternal mortality ratio by three-quarter by 2015 and reduction in the spread of HIV/AIDS by half and reversal of the spread by 2015.

"Without these measures the country's dream of achieving the three health-related MDGs will remain a mirage", the Association of Health Services Administrators-Ghana (ASHAG) said.

Mr Bernard Clement K. Botwe, President of ASHAG, said: "we face the challenge of managing health service delivery that is efficient, equitable and financially sustainable in the light of health reforms and growing demand to meet the three health related MDGs."

He was speaking at the 33rd Annual Conference of ASHAG in Ho on the theme: "Towards the attainment of MDGs 4, 5 and 6: The role of the Health Services Administrator."

Mr Botwe urged the Ministry of Health to "move beyond words and fashion out sustainable incentive package to attract doctors and midwives to rural communities particularly the three northern regions."

He also called on the Ministry to liaise with the Municipal and District Assemblies to ensure that feeder roads to the remotest parts of the country were reshaped and kept in good condition all year round.

Mr Botwe asked the health authorities to create the necessary conditions to make it easy for health professionals who have returned from seeking "greener pastures", to be absorbed into the service.

"The cumbersome appointment procedures should be streamlined", he said.

The Volta Regional Minister, Mr Joseph Amenowode exhorted the Conference to "tell us how the service has fared over the years. From your deliberations, offer purposeful advice to management of the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health on the way forward."

He advised the health administrators to be current with policies and policy directives and be committed to their successful implementation and judicious utilization of scarce resources towards quality health service delivery.

The Regional Director of Health Services, Dr McDamien Dedzo asked the health administrators to understand their roles and responsibilities in the health sector which "are multiple and challenging."

Topics to be discussed included; maternal and child health, TB control, overview of MDGs and HIV/AIDS control.

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