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CSOs urged to pool resources for Universal Health Coverage

Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) working in health across the country have been urged to improve upon the cohesion between them and government to effectively mobilise needed resources in achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Madam Cecilia Senoo, Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), made the call in Accra yesterday on the sidelines of the ongoing health summit – while addressing a CSO and stakeholder forum hosted by her outfit.

In collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) Ghana Office, Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN), World Aids Campaign International (WACI Health), and Non State Actors for Health and Development- Ghana (NSA), the meeting was to harness efforts in domestic resource mobilisation for the sector.

According to Madam Senoo, “the time was ripe for CSOs who work at the grassroots to come together to improve upon the primary health care delivery in communities”.

She advised organisations to come together and “form one strong body to fight for better health delivery services especially diseases like HIV, malaria and tuberculosis (TB)”.

She also advocated that CSOs actively implored government to contribute to the Global Fund which supports such diseases, having been a beneficiary of the fund in the last five years to sustain gains made globally.

Mr Collins Agyarko-Nti, Chairman, Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund, believed the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria would have been much dire on the continent “if not for the Global Fund”.

Ghana, he said, was always on the receiving end of the fund and “the time has come for Ghana to also contribute to the fund so as to also help countries who need help,” adding that, “even Togo had contributed $1 billion to the fund”.

The fund, he noted, needed about $46 billion dollars to effectively carry out its activities and the forum was also to map out strategies through which government, CSOs and other agencies in the country could contribute to the fund before November 2019.

Mark Saalfeld, Global Fund Portfolio Manager High Impact Africa 1, explained that the fund was there to help government resolve challenges faced in providing quality health care to citizens, raising concern over Ghana’s seeming failure in fighting against HIV and Tuberculosis.

He urged that government to find ways to spend its resources judiciously in order to have greater impact in the country, saying, “Ghana had many resources, policies and strategies in place to provide better health care delivery as compared to other countries but the challenge was how those resources were spent.”

Key stakeholders present at the forum included CSOs representatives from Ghana and other African countries including South Africa, Kenya and Rwanda, who shared experiences in health care delivery in their country and how CSOs partnered with governments in fighting for UHC, and reliable health care delivery and contributions to the Global Fund.


BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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