Health outreach programme launched in Accra
A health outreach programme has been launched in Accra, with a call on stakeholders to partner and collaborate with the secretariat to provide affordable and accessible healthcare service to vulnerable individuals within the zongo communities in the country.
The National Coordinator of the Zongo and Inner Cities Development Secretariat, Abdallah Banda, who made the call, indicated that access to adequate, accessible, affordable, appropriate and available health care engendered a healthy population and brought about effective and efficiency in the socio-economic development of the country.
He said although the zongo and inner-cities were culturally rich and vibrant, they were faced with unique challenges in terms of access to quality health care.
“I, therefore, respectfully call on all stakeholders, including chiefs, Imams, youth, pastors in Zongo and inner-city communities and other parts of the country to partner and collaborate with us so that together we can be the architects of present and future healthier populations and citizens in Ghana,” he said.
He was speaking at the launch of the Health Outreach Programme for Inner-City and Zongo Communities on the theme: “Improving the health of Inner-City and Zongo Residents; A Prerequisite for Socio-Economic Development”.
The launch was undertaken by the Zongo and Inner-Cities Development Secretariat in partnership with the Iranian Red Crescent Society and Iran Clinic Ghana to provide essential medical care, health education and support services to over 20,000 residents within the inner-cities in the zongo communities across the country.
The ceremony was attended by the Iran Clinic Ghana Medical Director, Dr Sayeed Salahatpour; Iran’s Ambassador to Ghana, Bijan Gerami Nazoksara; the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ahafo Ano North, Sanid Adamu Sukeman; MP for Effia Constituency and Minister for State Enterprises, Joseph Cudjoe, and MP for the Klottey Korle Constituency, Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, among other dignitaries.
A screening exercise was organised to mark the launch of the programme, during which people were screened for various ailments, including malaria, sugar levels, blood pressure, eye malaria, hepatitis B and cholesterol, while those identified with complications were referred for further diagnoses and care.
Mr Banda said the government had taken comprehensive and sustainable steps to address the health issues within the Zongo and inner city residents.
He indicated that government had worked to enhance access to quality health care including the provision of ambulances to all districts, recruitment of over 120,000 health professionals, the provision of health supplies and the ongoing construction of health facilities across the country.
He therefore commended the Red Crescent Society – Iran Clinic Ghana for the free medical care provided to the vulnerable within the Zongo and Inner-cities, adding : ''this launch is an effort to bring healthcare services to the doorsteps of zongo and inner city communities''.
The Health Outreach, he said, was reaffirmation of the commitment of the secretariat to principles of equity, inclusivity and social justice and the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goal 3 - Good Health and Well-being.
The Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Bijan Gerami, said Iran was committed to contribute to the progress and success of the country and reaffirmed the launch as Iran’s dedication to support the development of the Zongo communities in Ghana.
“We have provided initiatives such as providing scholarships to Ghanaian students and the presence of the Iran Clinic in Ghana, witness to Iran's serious commitment to obtain growth and well-being in these communities,” he said.
The Member of Parliament for the Klottey Korle Constituency Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, said the initiative would reduce dependency on government to provide services for people in communities who might not be able to afford the kind of health care that they require.