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04.10.2005 Health

Health Minister meets the media

By GNA
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Accra, Oct. 4, GNA - The Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashigah (rtd) on Tuesday proposed a new paradigm for the health sector that would mainly focus on the promotion of preventive health delivery system with curative as a last resort.

"Our proposal of a new focus for the health sector is predicated on the need to be realistic, innovative and resourceful as a people to make a meaningful contribution to achieve our national objectives...," Major Quashigah said.

Taking his turn at the meet-the-press series organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra, Major Quashigah said to be able to adopt and implement the new paradigm, more collaboration with all stakeholders would be needed.

He mentioned in particular collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and Ministry of Education and Sports and the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure a hygienic and sensitised environment to prevent diseases. According to the Health Minister, promotion of health under the paradigm would mean promoting housing and town planning, safe water, nutrition and safe food, regular exercise, rest and recreation and personal hygiene.

He said under the preventive system, the Ministry would have to continue and maintain the momentum of immunization to protect the people against diseases and workplace injuries. Under the curative system, the restoration of health-diagnosis and treatment of the sick, development of human resources for health, production and supply of drugs and medicines and rehabilitation of the disabled would vigorously be pursued.

Major Quashigah said the proposed paradigm had worked so well in Dimona, an African Hebrew Israelite Community in Israel where he just visited and saw the tremendous impact in the health of the people in that country.

"This is a community of 3,000 African Americans, who migrated to Israel and through the adoption of healthy lifestyles and environment, have been able to overcome the health problems facing Africans and people of African descent today." The Minister said those people, after 38 years of actively promoting lifestyle changes such as regenerative health and nutrition, regular exercise and environmental cleanliness, had been able to effectively eliminate most communicable and non-communicable diseases that Africa treated today.

Major Quashigah said the Ministry would, therefore, embark on a sensitisation of the rank and file of the health staff to buy into the new paradigm.

A national conference to dialogue on the health paradigm and discuss the details of the relevance of nutrition, water and exercise to health would also be organized before the close of the year. He said out of that conference, a national health policy would be designed to redefine the mission, objects and functions of the Ministry to reflect the new paradigm.

Major Quashigah called for the support of all, particularly the media, to help in insisting on a change of attitude and enforcement of laws that regulated behaviour that promoted the general health of the people. 4 Oct. 05

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