The Minister for Health, Mr Alex Segbefia, has charged all stakeholders to continue to invest and sustain the commitment to improve malaria prevention and control in Ghana.
Mr Segbefia said it was essential to scale up coverage of effective malaria interventions as well as develop and maintain effective surveillance to combat increasing mosquito resistance to insecticides and anti-malarial medicines.
He was speaking at the opening of this year’s Health Summit in Accra, yesterday, to review Ghana’s health sector’s performance for the year 2015 and carve the way forward.
This Summit was on the theme: ‘Working together towards Universal Health Coverage, consolidating the gains of Health-Related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)’.
The occasion was also used to commemorate World Malaria Day.
The Minister disclosed that the health sector had made significant strides, with the equity gap between the doctor-nurse population ratio, for example, had shown some improvement from the year 2013.
He, however, identified a number of challenges that confronted the sector during the year under review, including an inadequate ambulance service which, he said, currently needed a drastic financing mechanism to enable the service’s fleet of ambulances to be upgraded and kept functional at all times.
In an address, Mr Yieleh-Chireh, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health, said achieving the targets under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had been a priority for Ghana’s Parliamentary Select Committee on Health.
Mr Yieleh-Chireh referred to the United Nations (UN) 2015 Report on Ghana’s MDGs which disclosed that although there had been a significant reduction in infant and under-five mortality rates in Ghana, the target of reducing child mortality rates was not met primarily because there were not enough effective interventions on child survival.
He was hopeful that the summit would be able to identify workable strategies for adoption.
For his part, the Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mr Andrews Karas, said the Health Summit was a significant opportunity to strengthen co-operation towards the improvement of health and well-being of all Ghanaians.
Mr Karas said in recognizing the complexity of issues in the health sector, Ghana’s Development Partners had collaborated to focus on policy dialogue and identified eight priorities in an effort to reduce transaction costs and focus on programming.
He outlined these policy dialogues as the Expansion of coverage of Community Health and Planning Services (CHPS) program, Human Resource Management, Strengthening of Public Financial Management, Development of a Health Financing Strategy and Implementation Plan and the Implementation of the Supply Chain Master Plan, among others.