The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) in collaboration with Ghana Health Service, at the weekend held a health forum to examine the opportunities for an effective, efficient and affordable health care system.
The focus of the forum was on the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone.
The forum was aimed at dialoguing with development partners, experts from the health sector, Members of Parliament from the SADA Ecological zone as well as the Regional Ministers of the Upper East, Upper West, Northern and Brong- Ahafo.
The objective was also to examine how partners and stakeholders in health could accelerate progress in the SADA zone so that people there would be able to access quality healthcare, especially pregnant women, and deliver their babies with the assistance of skilled health personnel.
Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru, Northern Regional Minister, opened the two-day forum on the theme: “Bridging the equity gap in health delivery in the SADA zone.” He disclosed that government is investing heavily in health infrastructure and would partner development agencies to tackle the human resource gaps in the sector.
He said the government is trying to achieve this by expanding access for the training of health practitioners and specialists and investing heavily in roads in the rural health facilities to the regional and teaching hospitals, for treatment to be enhanced.
Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru said the region is the largest in the country and its problems, including health, is equal to its size and, therefore, urged the health experts to help address them, to enhance the living conditions of the people.
He asked the experts to brainstorm on how to reduce the current high malnutrition and under- five mortality in the SADA zone to the barest minimum, the improvement of health planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation at the community and district levels.
Other areas of concern, the Minister pointed out, were how to coordinate health interventions within the SADA zone, to ensure equity and achieve the expected outcomes.
He said the interventions would ensure an equitable and efficient health system in the zone.
Madam Akua Kwateng-Addo, Director of Health, United States Agency for International Development, called on other development partners to come together and give SADA the needed financial assistance to enable it stand on its feet, to solve problems in its operational area.
She said SADA’s comparative advantage and role, should galvanise the government, development partners and civil society to accelerate health care delivery, while the existing structures should be renovated, all in the attempt to ensure the people of good health.