Health News of Thursday, 7 June 2012
Mr. Tawiah Likpalimor, a Minister of State at the Presidency, has appealed to heads of health institutions to ensure that members of the Cuban Medical Brigade enjoyed their duty tour of Ghana.
He said Cuban health professionals were working tirelessly and offering quality health care including outreach programmes and in-door services in remote areas, hence they needed to be taken good care of so that they in turn would give off their best.
Mr. Lipkalimor made the appeal when addressing the Third Ghana-Cuba Congress on Public Health on the theme, “The Contribution of the Cuban Medical Brigade Towards the Health of Ghanaian People”, with emphasis on maternal health care.
The congress offered the Cuban Medical Brigade an opportunity to share experiences and their research findings among themselves and stakeholders in the health sector.
The Minister of State commended the Cuban health professionals for the strenuous efforts and said the research findings would guide policy makers to make informed decisions to deal with actual numerous health challenges facing the country.
Giving the history of the Ghana-Cuban collaboration, he said, in April 1982 with only 17 doctors, the bridge had expanded to 200 members and would soon be increased to 300 after the new agreement signed between the two countries.
“Cuban Government continues to incur huge expenditure to train doctors and other health professionals to supplement the little that we have and we are most grateful,” he added.
Mr. Robert Mettle-Nunoo, Deputy Minister of Health, noted that maternal mortality was a big issue in Ghana and the death of even one mother should not be accepted, calling for a zero maternal mortality.
He commended the Cubans for the commitment exhibited in ensuring quality health care and pledged government’s support in ensuring their security in the country.
Dr. Kwabena Opoku Adusei, President of Ghana Medical Association, acknowledged the fact that Ghana had a shortfall of doctors and commended the Cubans for filling in the gap to address the health care problems of the country, and pledged the association’s collaboration to make their stay and work a success.
“We will involve you in all our programmes and please do not hesitate to contact us if the need arise. Our doors are open, “he added.
Dr. Barnabas Bamaaha Naa Gandau, a Cuban trained doctor at Tamale Hospital, called for the change in the mode of distribution of Cuban doctors and appealed for an increase in the number of specialists and other specialised professionals.
“If this is not done, then sending 200 doctors and nurses will not solve the problems confronting the country.”
Mr. Jorge Lefebre Nicolas, Cuban Ambassador to Ghana, commended Ghana for the support given to the Cuban Medical Brigade, and pledged the Caribbean island’s support in assisting Ghana address her health problems.**