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20.09.2005 General News

ADB, others to build new district hospitals

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Accra, Sept. 20, GNA - The African Development Bank (ADB) together with other co-financiers on Monday made available 34.23 million dollars for the third phase of the Health Services Rehabilitation project at Tarkwa in the Western Region and Bekwai-Ashanti in the Ashanti Region.

The project comprises building of new hospitals in the two districts, provision of equipment, blood transfusion centres and support for blood transfusion services. It would also provide new emergency and accident facilities for the hospitals.

Co-financiers of the project are the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Government.

Work on the project has already begun and expected to be completed in 2008.

Speaking at the launch of the project in Accra, Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said for Ghana to become a middle-income country there was the need to carry out measures that would ensure adequate funding from development partners as well as Foreign Direct Investment.

Mr Agyeman-Manu said the government valued the relationship with the bank group and other development partners regarding the technical and financial resources provided to help grow and improve services in key sectors of the economy.

Mr Agyeman-Manu commended ADB for demonstrating its commitment to the country's efforts in achieving better health care for the people and the Millennium Development Goals.

He expressed concern about delays in disbursement, poor communication between the bank and the project implementing units and gave the assurance that such concerns would be over when the bank's office becomes operational in Ghana.

Ms Jennifer Brown-Aryee, Extension Aid Coordinator of the Ministry of Health, giving history of the project said the first phase comprised of the rehabilitation of the Korle-Bu and Komfo Anokye Teaching hospitals and Effia Nkwanta Regional hospital in the Western Region. In the second phase, Keta, Kibi and Yendi district hospitals were rehabilitated. The first two phases were completed in 1997 and 2000. As part of the project a new national blood transfusion centre in Accra and Kumasi will also be built.

Ms Brown-Aryee commended the chiefs of Tarkwa and Bekwai-Ashanti for giving out lands for the new projects.

"Tarkwa and Bekwai are both mining areas with a high rate of mining-related accidents and occupation related health problems. These do not only affect miners but their families and surrounding communities and the new facilities will address them," she added.

Dr Melville George, WHO Representative, said WHO would offer technical assistance, protocols, materials and training programmes in HIV/AIDS control and primary health care delivery.

Professor Stephen Duah Yentumi, Assistant Resident Representative of UNPD, said the UNDP would contribute a grant of 400,000 US dollars as technical assistance for the management of project's implementation and training of trainers in management skills.

Mr Pap Williams, representative of ADB, said their intervention was to support the Government's efforts to improve the coordination and harmonisation of development assistance in the health sector.

"We shall work in unison to consolidate our joint achievements, deal with the unfinished business for a smooth take-off and move implementation into higher gear," he added.

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