Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye is Director-General, Ghana Health Service

Director-General of the Ghana Health Services (GHS) has emphasised the importance of maintaining progress in the prevention and management of Covid-19.

Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye says though health workers and other stakeholders rallied around to fight the Coronavirus menace, there are still lessons to be learnt.

The lessons, according to him, should include investment in healthcare delivery and integration as well as equitable distribution of health facilities.

According to the GHS, Ghana has recorded 91,477 confirmed Covid-19 cases in total, with 763 deaths as at April 10, 2021.

Daily case count has reduced drastically from over 700 in February to 67 cases currently.

GHS Director-General, Dr. Kuma-Aboagye attributes the decline to several factors, including improved surveillance, testing, tracing and treatment and the wearing of face masks.

Over 800,000 Ghanaians have also received the first shot of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Dr. Kuma-Aboagye is happy with the gains made so far.

“We have initiated an important stage in the fight against Covid. That is, building our own natural immunity to be able to fight the virus.

We have since the 2nd of March vaccinated about 800,000 Ghanaians in all regions of the country. They had their first shot and nearly all health workers; both public and private have received their first shot,” he said.

He, however, underscored the need for healthcare investment and the strengthening of pandemic preparedness.

“We should not forget some of the innovative ways  that we did and the opportunities the pandemic has offered despite all the challenges; including how all health workers  and stakeholders in the country rallied together in solidarity to respond to the pandemic.,” he said.

He continued; “Indeed we should redouble all our efforts as it is the only way to strengthen the foundation for more resilient equitable society, a healthier and more prosperous future for all.”

Speaking at the opening of a 3-day first-ever Senior Managers’ Meeting in Kumasi, Dr. Kuma-Aboagye announced plans to renew the Ghana Health Service’s 5-year strategic plan for 2022-2026.

The review, which seeks to rebrand the service, will among other things include mobilization and equitable distribution of resources.

“The Ghana Health Service will renew its strategic plan to provide a 5-year strategic direction from 2022 to 2026.  This strategic plan will prioritize in the medium term reflect the priority needs of the service.

The discussion focus on 12-key areas and this will include mobilizing more resources, distributing it equitably and putting in place systems for efficient use of resources.”

Meanwhile, Otumfuo’s Hiahene, Nana Professor Oheneba Boachie Adjei Woahene II bemoaned the inequitable distribution of healthcare resources.

“The country is way behind in most basic indicators for sustainable healthcare delivery.

There’s severe in-balance between the number of doctors to nurses and our doctor-patient or doctor-patient ratio of 1 to 7,500 is way below WHO standard of 1:1,320.

The country has 30 orthopaedic surgeons for 30 million people. That is 1 orthopaedic surgeon for 1 million people. It is impossible to take care of broken bones.”   

“Structural investments in healthcare delivery post-independence have not been comprehensive or integrated,” he added.