As part of efforts to reposition and strengthen health promotion structures in the country, the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has elevated the Health Promotion Department into a division.
According to Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director General of the GHS, the upgrade was in consultation with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and health development partners at the 2017 health summit held in Kumasi.
He was speaking in Accra yesterday at the launch of the newly created Health Promotion Division (HPD).
The Director General said the summit recognised that the implementation of a visible Health Promotion Division (HPD) within the GHS was critical and an innovative way of mobilising new resources for promoting health and preventing diseases in the country.
Additionally, Dr Nsiah-Asare noted that the move would support research and strengthen health promotion capacities in the health and other sectors.
The Director General indicated that as the thrust for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) grew, it was apparent that sustainable structures for health promotion were put in place.
He noted that health promotion was prerequisite for the implementation of the SDGs at the local, regional and country level, adding that, “Without tremendous efforts to strengthen health promotion structures, attempts by government to reduce the increasing disease burden, reduce secondary and tertiary care costs in order to achieve health related SDGs will have little chance.”
Dr Nsiah-Asare disclosed that efforts were underway to expand the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the GHS health facilities, including primary health facilities across the country with health promotion initiatives, and the deployment of electronic health services to enhance quality health care.
He commended the development partners and staff of the HPD for their continuous support to health promotion in the country.
Mrs Tina Mensah, the Deputy Minister of Health, who spoke on behalf of the Minister, Mr Kweku Agyeman-Manu, said the creation of the division was timely and appropriate as it would ensure health literacy as an effective health promotion approach that could improve health outcomes.
She added that the creation of the division would help equip and empower individuals and communities by promoting an inclusive model of governance and advocate healthy public policies and environment.
The deputy minister encouraged the HPD to develop initiatives that would empower and strengthen individual collective capacity.
Mrs Mensah assured the staff of the ministry’s readiness and support to provide the right leadership and direction to the attainment of broad health sector objectives.
Health development partners including the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) took turns to congratulate and commend the division for the achievement.
BY ALLIA NOSHIE