The Service commenced its first senior managers’ meeting for the year 2023 in Kumasi under the theme; Enhancing Primary Healthcare Approaches Towards Achieving Universal Health Coverage.
The three-day meeting saw senior management from the GHS Council, the 16 regional directors for health, international partners, retired but active directors of GHS, a representative of the regional Minister for Ashanti Region, the Minister for Health, and Sir Baffour Dr. Ossei Hyeaman Brantuo VI, Otumfour Mawerehene who gave the keynote address.
In his remarks, the Minister of Health, the Honorable Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, pleaded with the senior executives to exercise greater empathy when making decisions that may impact the healthcare of the typical Ghanaian. He expressed gratitude for their efforts on behalf of the homeland and urged them to continue.
In his welcome speech, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director-General of the Service, provided an update on the Service’s performance since the most recent meeting of senior managers and recognized outstanding Directorates and regions.
Dr. Ossei Hyeaman Brantuo VI, challenged the nation to learn how to make medications and drugs on our own and be creative despite the difficulties facing the health sector, in his keynote presentation.
Launch of 2023 African Vaccination Week
The African Vaccination Week was inaugurated during the meeting with the theme “The big catch-up”. The launch was one of the highlights of the events associated with the ongoing first Senior Managers’ Meeting in Kumasi.
Dr. Francis Kasolo, the Country Representative of the WHO, reminded those gathered that as we observe this year’s African Vaccination Week, we must cooperate to ensure that no child is left behind. This necessitates funding robust immunization systems, increasing vaccination coverage, and making vaccines available to all who require them.
The chairperson for the launch, Nana Boakye Yam Ababio, Nkwantakese Hene, urged all regions and districts to continue to embrace this initiative and be innovative in heightening awareness of safe and effective services available for children under five years.
In his keynote speech, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye stated that everyone has an interest in interventions for children’s health, including vaccination. In order to reach all eligible children, he believed that the government’s efforts needed to be supplemented. On behalf of the healthcare professionals, he pledged to keep advocating for laws and initiatives that would improve mother and child health in Ghana.
The African Vaccination Week/Child Health Promotion Week commenced on April 24, 2023.
Launch of the GHS Digital Health Plan
The policy and digital health plan was also unveiled at the Senior Managers Meeting . A fresh perspective was presented in the policy and strategy for creating a broad framework for coordinating digital health activities in the Ghana Health Service. Additionally, it offers a platform to make sure the information can be shared and exchanged among the many apps utilized in the Service.
The Director-General, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, launched the policy book in front of all senior management from across the nation along with the GHS council chairman, Dr. Sefah Sarpong Bediako, the WHO Country Representative, Dr. Francis Kaloso, the CEO of the FDA, Mrs. Mimi Darko, the Director for PPME Division of the GHS, Dr. Alberta Biritum-Nyarko, and the Head of I. T. of the Service, Mr. Hammond Sarkwah.
Media Briefing on Highlights of the first SMM in 2023
The meeting of the first Senior Managers’ Meeting came to a close with a media briefing. The media engagement highlighted issues such as; the increase in deliveries in health facilities over the past 5 years, still births (children who are born dead) decreased, increase in antenatal services. There was also the issue of increase in malaria care with deaths in malaria decreasing as well as improvement in surveillance systems over the years. Health communication is also being used to communicate health risk across board.
Some challenges the Service faces despite the successes chalked are, some staff refusing postings to deprived areas. The Service pleaded with stakeholders through the media to support staff who are willing to take up such postings to deprived areas, support them and make life easy for them in the community.
The media asked questions pertaining to fake medicines and the new malaria mosquito breed, the decrease in communication about HIV on mass media and the co-payment being practiced by some facilities for services covered by NHIS.
The Director-General emphasized that the leadership frowns on patients being charged for services covered by NHIS and asked the media to report facilities taking monies for services covered by NHIS.
Senior management deliberated and developed policy decisions and best practices that will aid in improving healthcare in Ghana before the meeting came to a closed.
SOURCE: Public Relations Unit, GHS