By Samuel Osei-Frempong,
10, GNA - The German International Development Organisation (GIZ) and NMSI, the
British health infrastructure builders, in partnership with seven other
entities are spending four million Euros over three years to promote preventive
health in Ghana.
The programme dubbed, "Prevention is better than cure", which begun in April 2015, has an objective of intergrating preventive measures in the service packages of public and private health providers as well as health insurance providers in Ghana.
Golden Star Resources limited, Ghana Community Network Systems Limited,Sysmex, Nationwide Mutual Healthcare,Claron Health International, Glico Healthcare and the Ghana Association of Quasi Government Institutions (GAQHI) are the other partners.
Launching the programme at the modern and plush Shai Osuduku District Hospital in Dodowa, Dr Samuel Akaba, Director of Institutional Care Division, Ministry of Health,called on Ghanaians to be more responsible for their health.
He said the race to get things done for the family could steal attention but knowing what can make "you unhealthy and less capable of achieving life goals and taking steps to stay healthy" is the best personal choice one can make.
"Find time to walk or jog in the morning. Avoid stress by being positive and try and balance your diet even under stressful economic circumstances and always make the health worker a trusted partner."
Dr Akaba called on the ordinary person to endeavour to talk to health personnel even when there are no signs of sickness and discomfort.
Mr Hartwig Michaelson, GIZ DeveloPP Programme Manager, said the GIZ is committed to building a healthier Ghana through development partnerships with the private sector through the "develoPP.de programme".
"The programme was set up by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to forster the involvement of the private sector at the point where business opportunities and development policy initiatives intersect,"he said.
According to him, the programme targets companies that invest in developing and emerging countries and are seeking ways to shape their corporate commitment in the long time with financial and professional support.
He said the "prevention is better than cure" concept was crucial to Ghana because the lack of access to preventive health measures was not only disadvantageous for the livelihood of vulnerable people but has also negative effects on the national health system and economy.
According to him, the reality is that African health systems currently focus on curative rather than preventive measures.
He said under such circumstances, access to preventive measures is often ad-hoc and not sustained.
"With the Health Ministries striving to control the double burden of disease through improvements of the health service financing and delivery, an integration of comprehensive preventive measures into health systems would be required.
He said services including education about infection prevention and control, clinical screening including body mass Index, blood pressure, assessment of cardiovascular risk, education on tobacco and alcohol and promotion of physical activity and exercise are offered under the programme.
Dr Kennedy Brightson, Medical Superintendent, Shai-Osu District Hospital, called on residents of the District and beyond to patronise the hospital's preventive medicine unit to check their health.
According to him, the staff of the facility would welcome "Healthy patients" .
Other dignitaries at the launch included Mr Peter Marks, NMSI Director and Mr Alan Walsh, GIZ Country Director.