A lecture given by Dr Naa at Webster University.
The Medical Director of the International Health Care Centre, Dr. Naa Ashiley Vanderpuye-Donton has stated that high dependency on external funding as well as non-adherence to counterpart funding contributions are some of the issues bedeviling the growth of Ghana’s public health sector. She stated that although Ghana had very robust policies on public health in theory, the slow adaptation of global best practices, lack of community monitoring of programmes, poor maintenance of health infrastructure as well as the gap between policy makers and front liners were some of the contributory factors to low quality healthcare in Ghana. She however added that the concept of task sharing being implemented by the Ghana Health Service was a laudable one that needed to be applauded by all. She was speaking on the topic “the challenges and opportunities of developing good public health practices in Africa” at a public lecture organized by Webster University-Ghana campus.
Other speakers at the public lecture included the former Director of Ghana Health Service, Prof Agyeman Badu Akosa and Prof Jean-Germain Gros, visiting lecturer, Webster University – Ghana Campus.
Prof. Akosa spoke on the topic “Health Care Policy in Africa: The Pan -African Challenge”. In his presentation, he stated that an inter- ministerial desk on health was urgently needed in Ghana and Africa. This was because according to him, health needed a multi- sectoral involvement and cut across various ministries such as the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Transport. He stressed that poor quality of health care was not necessarily due to financial bottlenecks and advocated for a blank sheet to be drawn in the planning of healthcare policies in Ghana (Africa) which would involve the synergization of the relevant ministries.
On his part, Prof Gros spoke on “the historical overview of health care policy in Africa”. He initially posited a strong agreement that it was a misconception for the world to think that health care was nonexistent in Africa before the advent of colonialism. He added that national health care policy could be affected by both active or passive decisions taken by national authorities and stressed that health policy was not the monopoly of governments but needed the input of Non-Governmental Organizations and other actors as well. He stated that health care policy in Africa had gone through various changes from pre-colonial era through to the colonial and post-colonial era depending on the focus of the powers that controlled the system. He was however hopeful that Health Care Policies across Africa was evolving although he was quite skeptical that the GhS 20 ($4) yearly premium currently being paid by Ghanaians for national health insurance would be able to sustain a robust health care regime.
The main theme for the public lecture was “Health Care Policy and the crisis of Health Care Policy in Africa.”