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Forum on quality healthcare delivery underway in Accra

BY: Salomey Appiah
Dr Appiah Denkyira (middle), being assisted by Dr Pierre Barker (right), a Specialist in Quality Healthcare Improvement and Dr Prosper Tumusiime (left), WHO Representative in Ghana, to cut the tape to open the forum as Dr Augustin Muhwezi (right) looks on.

A two-day forum to discuss ways of developing an integrated national framework for quality healthcare delivery in the country opened in Accra yesterday.

The objective of the exercise, being undertaken jointly by the government and other stakeholders in the health sector, is to ensure a healthier population and a reliable health system.

It is, therefore, being organised to solicit the ideas and expertise of the various stakeholders on how to align Ghana’s health system towards a national quality strategy for health care.

The framework is expected to contain standards and a plan for implementing the initiatives across the health system.

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The forum is organised by the Ministry of Health (MoH), Ghana Health Service (GHS), National Catholic Health Service (NCHS), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Systems for Health, Project Fives Alive and other organisations.

The forum is also to review the current state and progress of efforts to improve the quality of health care.

Safer and better care

Speaking at the forum, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyira, said some improvement initiatives introduced into the health systems were yielding positive results.

However, he noted that there were no national road maps to set the standards and measure the level of quality of health care patients received.

Therefore, he said, the advocacy to develop a national plan was in the right direction to ensure safer, better and improved quality care for patients.

As a signatory to international goals and conventions, Dr Odame said it was time Ghana transformed its healthcare delivery to meet best practices, adding that adopting a framework on quality improvement would, for instance, help reduce the maternal and child mortality rate.

Dr Emmanuel Odame of the Policy, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Directorate of the MoH said the quality of health care was a very important element in the socio-economic development of the country, hence the need to give the maximum support to the strategy.

Experiences

In a presentation on implementing a national quality improvement framework, challenges and opportunities from the Ugandan experience, Dr Augustin Muhwezi, the Chief of Party of Sustain Project in Uganda, said the initiative had made a tremendous impact on healthcare delivery in Uganda.

With a strong commitment of governments and support from donor partners, he added that countries such as Tanzania and South Africa had also successfully adopted and implemented quality improvement strategies in their healthcare systems.