Health News Sat, 27 Jun 2009

Coalition of NGOs in health holds forum

Bolgatanga, June 27, GNA- Dr. James Akpablie, Upper East Deputy Regional Director of Health in charge of Public Health, Ghana Health Service, has urged civil society organizations to support the Service to provide the people with good health care. He said government alone could not provide all the health needs of the people.

Dr Akpablie was speaking at a health forum organized by the Upper East Branch of the Ghana Coalition of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), in Health, in Bolgatanga. The event which was on the theme, "The Role of Civil Societies in Bringing about Equity in Health Care Delivery", gave stakeholders in health the opportunity to discuss problems affecting health delivery in the region and the role of civil society organization in ensuring equity in healthcare delivery.

Dr. Akpablie said the region lacked adequate number of doctors, nurses, midwives and other medical personnel. He stressed that out of the 27 doctors in the region, 9 practicing catered for the 1.1 million people in the region and the rest were administrators.

Dr. Akpablie said that the region had one obstetrician, one Gynecologist, one surgeon, a dentist and two eye specialists and had no qualified personnel and equipment at the intensive healthcare unit. He called on the authorities to support outreach programmes to enable the people have access to special health care instead of traveling to other regions for the service.

Dr. Akpablie called on civil society organizations, assemblies in the region and development partners to sponsor people in the health sector to participate in outreach programmes to address the shortage of health personnel in the Region.

The Upper East Regional Branch Chairman of the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health, Mr. Jonathan Adabre said that the country would not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 if pragmatic measures were not taken to address challenges facing the health sector, especially in the area of maternal and child mortality. He said that the Coalition of NGOs would support the people and organizations to demand better health service from government.

Mr. Adabre said the group would also support efforts aimed at ensuring accessibility of basic healthcare at affordable bills for all people especially the most deprived, allocation of health budget that would benefit the poor and providing safe drinking water to the people. He thanked the Embassy of the Netherlands for sponsoring the forum and gave the assurance that the Coalition would work with the Ghana Health Service and other health institutions to provide quality healthcare for the people.

Participants at the workshop expressed dissatisfaction about the attitude of some health personnel towards patients which discouraged some people especially, pregnant women from attending health facilities. Participants also lamented that people in deprived area had little access to healthcare because of lack of health institutions. They stressed the need for education on health issues to encourage people to pay attention to their health. 27 June 09

Source: GNA