General News of Mon, 26 Jan 20040
Government spends $2 million on pregnant women
Accra, Jan. 26, GNA - Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Deputy Minister of Finance, on Monday said the Government set aside two million dollars in addition to budgetary allocation to cater for the expenses of pregnant women during delivery in hospitals.
He said the Government after realising that many pregnant women delivered outside the hospitals because they could not afford the charges, decided to set aside the amount to meet the exigencies on their behalf.
The Deputy Minister, who was speaking at the launch of the World Health Organisation Report for 2003 in Accra, said the Government was committed to addressing the health needs of every Ghanaian.
He said before the present Government came into office, the budgetary allocation for the health sector was 9.8 per cent but this had risen to 13.3 per cent as at 2003, adding "even though I do not want to pre-empt what Mr Osafo-Maafo would say during the budget, I promise you that there is something good for the Health Sector".
Mr Agyeman Manu said over 53 billion cedis had been spent in the effort to implement the National Health Insurance Scheme that would replace the 'Cash and Carry' system.
Health professionals, who were at the launch, expressed concern about the poor sanitary conditions in the country, which they described as a major contributory factor to the spread of malaria and other diseases and urged the Ministry of Health to get involved finding a lasting solution to it.
Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Health, in response, said there was the need to adopt a scientific approach to addressing the issue of sanitation in the country.
He said in the area of eradicating polio, Ghana had made a tremendous effort in that direction.
He said even though there were formidable obstacles to achieving a polio free world governments were very committed in ensuring that it was eradicated.
Ghana was almost nearing the certification of polio free country after recording zero cases for two successive years until eight imported cases were recorded in the Volta, Brong Ahafo and Upper East Regions. This implies that Ghana has another five years to ensure that all imported cases are dealt with and record zero cases of polio for the next three years.
Dr Afriyie reiterated that Government was committed to ensuring that every Ghanaian had access to quality and affordable health care.