Road traffic accidents in the country increased by 12.76 percent in 2018, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has stated.
He said data compiled by the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service revealed that the number of persons killed through that rose from 2,076 in 2017 to 2,341 in 2018.
Dr. Nsiah-Asare said this when he spoke on the topic “The Burden of Road Traffic, Injuries and Death in Ghana” at the opening of the 18th Annual General Meeting of the Medical Superintendent Group of Ghana in Sunyani.
Under the theme “Reducing the Carnage on Our Roads, The Role of Hospitals”, the three-day event aimed among others to come out with suggestions and action plans to assist the GHS to make a significant difference in improving patient safety and quality care in the health sector.
He stated the data again indicated that death through road crashes went up from 592 in the first quarter of 2018 to 696 within the same period this year, representing 17.57 percentage increase.
Dr. Nsiah-Asare said the Ministry of Health (MoH) and its agencies were aware and appreciated the enormity of the challenges-the disabilities and deaths that road carnages were causing.
The MoH was, therefore, coming out with a number of health and non-health strategies to improve response and management of medical emergencies including road traffic accidents, he added.
Dr. Nsiah-Asare said the MoH was instituting pragmatic measures to help the GHS to address the challenges, by training health staff in emergency care including basic life support and the use of Information and Communication Technology to facilitate referrals and bed management.
He urged managers of health institutions to re-examine their roles and contribution to adopt innovative management approaches to address the gaps in the provision of accident and emergency care, particularly those in the rural communities.
Dr. Nsiah-Asare said pre-hospital emergency was key in improving response and management of medical emergencies including road traffic accidents.
In this regard, he announced 307 ambulances had been procured by the Government in fulfillment of its strategic agenda of “One Ambulance, One Constituency”, saying the vehicles would be in the country before the end of the year to ensure excellent health service delivery in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
He stated that the issue of inadequate and inequitable distribution of health professionals continues to be a major challenge for the health sector and announced that from January up to October 2019 over 13,000 health professionals have been recruited and distributed to Ghana Health Service Facilities.
They included 314 doctors, 11,129 nurses of different categories, 442 allied health staff and 1,099 support services, staff.
He entreated the Medical Superintendents to educate the staff in their health facilities to ensure proper customer care and client satisfaction because, without positive attitudes towards patients, the UHC could not be achieved.