The Minister for Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has reiterated the call for a multi-sectoral collaboration in the provision of health care in the ECOWAS sun-region.

Good health, he observed, is not only a human welfare issue, but a fundamental objective of socio-economic development, and as such no single ministry, department or agency can ensure the health of a nation.

Hon. Agyeman-Manu was addressing participants at the opening ceremony of the 3rd ECOWAS Best Practices Forum in Health in Accra, which is on the theme: “Promoting Multi-sectoriality to achieve Maternal, New-born, Child and Adolescent and Youth (MNCAYH) Health-related Sustainable Development Goals”.

The Minister pointed out that concerted efforts from the public and private sectors, civil society, religious bodies and virtually all segments of society are required to ensure the health of a nation.

The advent of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other initiatives such the Health-In-All policy and interventions brought to the fore the reality that only an integrated approach to health care will ensure the right to health.

Mr Agyeman-Manu explained that multi-sectoral collaboration in health care provision is not a new approach since counties have been practising it as part of their sector policies, strategies and activities or as part of their interactions with other players in national development and international relations.

The Minister said “Improvement in maternal, new-born child, and adolescent health is of global concern”, and added that Ghana as a country has identified and ranked these issues as key priorities for the health sector because it affects the core of the population, which ultimately form the nation’s workforce. Therefore, the government over the years developed and implemented many health interventions designed to optimise the health of its people.

The Director-General of West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO), Prof. Stanley Okolo, said the establishment of a regional platform to discuss and share best practices in the health sector is an effective way of ensuring that intervention in counties in the sub-region can produce positive health outcomes at an accelerated rate.

“WAHO has therefore brought together some of the finest health experts in family planning, sexual and reproductive health from the ECOWAS countries as well as other relevant stakeholders and its main technical and financial partners to deliberate and share experiences of some very interesting best practices based on the theme”, he said.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Nana Kwabena Adjei-Mensah, underlined the problem-solving approach as the best way to overcome the myriad of challenges encountered in combating issues related to maternal, child and adolescent health.

He urged participants to use the forum to discuss the best way to achieve multi-sectoral plans and programmes that will work optimally to overcome the barriers that hinder efforts in achieving targets such as the SDGs.

The ECOWAS Best Practices Forum in Health is an annual event for ECOWAS member States, and its major areas of activity are on the harmonization and coordination of health policies and strategies in the ECOWAS region.

Source: MoH PR Unit