Health News Mon, 29 Jan 2007

Health experts meet on management and leadership

Accra, Jan 29, GNA - Major Courage Quashigah (rtd) Minister of Health, on Monday said a strategic approach to management was the key to effective implementation of health policies.

He explained that significant progress could only be achieved in areas of health under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through action and commitment from the national, regional, district, and sub-district through to the community levels.

"Communities and individuals must be involved in decision-making, which affects their health and we are providing incentives by rolling out community-based health planning and services to enable this to happen."

Major Quashigah said this when he opened a four-day international consultative meeting in Accra on strengthening health leadership and management in low-income countries, under the theme "Towards Better leadership and Management in Health". The meeting is being organized by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Fund.

The participants from Ghana, United States of America, United Kingdom, Togo, South Africa, Benin, Tanzania, India, Kenya, Uganda, Guinea, Senegal, Botswana, Malawi and Nigeria would agree on key leadership and management issues on scaling up service delivery. They would also share experiences and lessons learnt and propose a follow-up programme of work for the WHO.

Major Quashigah explained that efforts had been made to improve individual and team leadership as well as managerial capacities "but all these laudable initiatives have been derailed by the current crisis of human resources for health management, including shortages and mal-distribution of health workers".

He said the Health Ministry was working to strengthen and build the understanding of managers at all levels of what could be realistically achieved. The Minister noted the Ministry's new health policy, aimed at tackling health from promotion through prevention to curative would naturally, with minimal resources achieve the MDGs and ensure that people were productive and contributed to wealth creation.

This, he said, would help to attain the President John Agyekum Kufuor's vision of moving the country to a middle income status of 1,000 dollars per capita income by 2015. Dr Joachim Sewake, WHO Country Representative, noted that health sectors in most countries present expressed concern of lack resources to deliver quality health care and called for negotiations backed by appropriate donor coordinators, resources by governments and other health partners. He said WHO recognised the fact that management and leadership in the health sector was important and was pooling experts in the field to put together write-ups to solve the problem. 29 Jan. 07

Source: GNA