Advisor to the President on Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, has said the government as part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is focused on reducing infant mortality in Ghana to achieve SDG 3 by 2030.

He, therefore, pledged the government support to promote the campaign for neonatal jaundice prevention and management in Ghana. 

Dr Nsiah-Asare said this at the first MTTS/Africa Health Supplies (AHS) Neonatal Jaundice Conference organised in Accra.

The conference was on the theme: “Reducing Infant Mortality through Neonatal Jaundice Awareness.”

He said Neonatal Jaundice is a major cause of death of neonates in Ghana and is attributed to the lack of awareness, late detection and even in some cases non-detection at all and proper management of Neonatal Jaundice. 

Dr Nsiah-Asare said the government gives priority to health and seriously honouring the manifesto promises and thus recently distributed 307 state-of-the-art ambulances to every Constituency and other state organisations to boost emergency health care in the country. 

He was encouraged with the presence of the number of different stakeholders at the conference advocating for quality management of care for our newborns especially those with Neonatal Jaundice. 

He reassured that the government will give the necessary support to AHS to assemble locally Neonatal Jaundice Treatment kits in Ghana, particularly the Firefly Phototherapy equipment.

The Presidential Advisor on Health also pledged the government’s continuous support for the training of medical personnel who will be handling the equipment as well as getting the equipment into various hospitals and other health facilities. 

He said President Akufo-Addo would seriously consider the equipment under the provision of at least every district hospital with one- Phototherapy equipment. 

He thanked the Ghana Medical Association, Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association, Paediatric Society of Ghana, Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners, Chiefs and Queen Mothers, Opinion Leaders and Media for pushing up the advocacy agenda of quality management of neonatal jaundice to government and other stakeholders over the years to realise its purpose.

 Dr Lawrence Tetteh, an International Evangelist expressed his willingness to lead the fight with all medical and health associations against neonatal Jaundice and efforts aims at projecting and highlighting the plight of newborn babies.

He launched the firefly phototherapy equipment, which is designed for local and third world markets at affordable prices. 

“The equipment is able to work with a back-up battery and solar panels,” he said.

Dr Tetteh also took the opportunity to launch the “National Champions against Neonatal Jaundice”, an Advocacy Group made-up of healthcare providers, Chiefs and Queen mothers and Traditional Birth Attendants who will be meeting with various stakeholders within the country to push the agenda of neonatal jaundice prevention.

The assembly of the equipment kits in Ghana is due to start in April 2020.