The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Charles Abani, has commended the government for making giant strides in containing and managing the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
He said aside from being the first country in Africa to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under the COVAX intervention, Ghana developed a robust action plan to manage the pandemic nationwide, particularly at the epicentres, and continued to build a strong immunisation system to roll out the vaccination campaign, which was very impressive.
“Seeing some of these services in rural communities shows that they are not just at the epicentres but across the board. We see a strong commitment and leadership from the President in managing the pandemic and building long-term resilience.
“Today, it is COVID-19; tomorrow, it could be another pandemic and the sooner African countries had the capacity to manage these kinds of pandemics, the better,” he said.
Mr Abani gave the commendation in Tamale last Monday when he led a delegation from the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, the government of Canada and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to inspect some health facilities in the Northern Region which the UN agencies supported with logistics in the wake of the pandemic.
Through the support from the UN and its partners, a number of health facilities in the region have been equipped with cold chain equipment for vaccine storage.
In addition, there has been the implementation of efficient antenatal care and related programmes.
Besides, the government of Canada has helped to provide safe space for counselling of adolescents in selected health facilities.
At the Nyankpala Health Centre in the Tolon District, the delegation expressed satisfaction with the state of the logistics and urged the staff to continue to put up their best in the fight against the pandemic.
Mr Abani emphasised the need to expand coverage of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to help pool the necessary funding to ensure effective public healthcare delivery, saying that “COVID-19 has created financial constraints on the government and, therefore, leveraging public-private sources of funding is the key to delivering quality health care”.
“The NHIS is just small contributions from individuals, and expanding its reach is a very powerful way to supplement the government’s efforts,” he added.
He said to achieve the Ghana Beyond Aid vision, there was the need for all citizens to stay healthy and be a part of it, for which reason healthcare delivery must be prioritised.
Mr Abani also commended the government for its efforts at digitalising every sector of the economy, especially health, which was very crucial for record-keeping and economic transformation.
The First Secretary at the Canadian High Commission, Adam Loyer, expressed the Canadian government’s commitment to deepen its partnership with the government of Ghana to enhance development, especially in the area of healthcare delivery.
The Northern Regional Director of Health Services, Dr John Bertson Eleeza, commended the UN and the Canadian government for their support, which he said had gone a long way to improve healthcare delivery in the region.