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02.09.2005 Health

Minister urges health workers to ensure healthy lives for Ghanaians


Tamale, Sept. 2, GNA - Major Courage Quashigah, (Rtd), Minister of Health told health workers in Tamale on Thursday that it was the responsibility of the Ministry to ensure that Ghanaians were healthy to be able to contribute meaningfully to national development.

He said the growth of the national economy hinged on the ability of the health professionals to provide quality healthcare services to the people to enable them to enhance their economic activities.

Major Quashigah was interacting with workers of the hospital during an inspection tour of the facility as part of his three-day visit to the region to launch the third African Traditional Medicine Day and Sixth Ghana Traditional Medicine Week celebration in Tamale.

He said: "Currently, the country is losing so much money through ill health and we need to adopt promotional and preventive methods in all our health programmes to sensitise the people on the need to maintain personal, food, water and environmental hygiene, instead of relying on curative methods."

"Our environment grow diseases and we spend money to treat ourselves. When people fall sick, there is a labour loss in the economy and this perpetuates the poverty cycle among the people," the Minister said. Major Quashigah said the Health Ministry must therefore be in the middle of poverty reduction efforts and called on health workers to reposition themselves to enhance quality healthcare delivery to the people.

The Minister said: "The government spends 1.8 million dollars to import chloroquine to treat malaria but because the drug is mismanaged, the government is now spending 94 million dollars on the newly developed malaria drug."

Some of the workers who were employed about two years ago complained to the Minister that they had not been receiving salaries. The workers appealed to the Ministry to consider providing the junior staff with motorbikes to facilitate their movement.

The workers also appealed to the Ministry of Ministry of Education and Sports to provide ambulances to the Tamale Teaching Hospital to cater for accident cases during the CAN 2008 tournament in Tamale. On the Tamale Teaching Hospital, the Minister said the government was committed to ensuring that the facility was rehabilitated to serve as a referral point to cater for people in Northern Ghana.