Development partners have commended Ghana’s Ministry of Health for the holistic assessment of the sector’s programme of work for 2012 but urged it to give priority attention to public finance management.
According to them, although holistic assessment showed a neutral result, it was better than a negative score, adding “more actions and achievements since 2011 should have been realized”.
They made the commendation at the opening of a five-day health summit organized by the Ministry under the theme: “Count Down to 2013: Working together to Achieve MDG 4 and 5 to Save Lives”.
Mr Gerald Duijifjes Ambassador of the Royal Netherlands, who represented the development partners, said the summit would enable them to have further discussions on how to improve the performance, identify challenges and institute measurers to address them.
The development partners commended the health ministry for developing regional and district plans to address the “All Hands on Deck for the MDG Acceleration Framework“.
They pledged their continuous support to the health sector in areas within their capabilities.
The summit aims to also ascertain the extent to which programmes and activities planned in the 2012 programme of work were implemented and the extent to which targets were met.
The Ministry of Health with support from its agencies and partners had undertaken a number of reviews into critical sector performance areas in order to provide inputs to improve service delivery in general.
Dr Joseph Yeileh Chireh, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, said a number of laws had been passed towards improving health and ensuring that MDG 4 and 5 were achieved.
“All we need to achieve is better results to ensure that these laws are implemented and operationalised so we can achieve meaningful reduction in both child and maternal mortalities”.
Dr Dorothy Gordon, Director-General of the Ghana-Indian Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence, said through information communication technology, the Health Ministry could track its expenditures and look for funding for its programmes.
Ms Sherry Ayettey Minister of Health noted that Ghana had less than two years to account for the performance in relation to the MDGs and called for the need to intensify interventions to achieve the targets.
She mentioned challenges such as childhood communicable diseases, which still persisted though they could be prevented, adding “while we struggle to win this battle, the burden related to high-cost chronic and degenerative conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases must be taken into account”.
She expressed concern about the upsurge of fast food industry and said that had contributed directly to the changing lifestyles of the average Ghanaian and called for a change to promote positive health habits.
Mr Paul Victor Obeng, Senior Presidential Advisor, expressed concern about the urban migration, upsurge of fake drugs and called for the need to take a second look and promote the local manufacturing of essential drugs.
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