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Health News of Thursday, 13 June 2019


Government urged to prioritise funds towards improving sanitation

The Government has been urged to prioritise funding for the improvement of sanitation and waste management.

There should also be adequate education on the need for good sanitation and waste management.

This was disclosed on Tuesday, in recommendations made by participants at a day's Regional Forum held in Accra to collate inputs into the 2020 National Budget and Economic Policy.

"There is improper waste management. Funds for sanitation, public education on sanitation and recycling of waste should be prioritised," they stated.

The government was also urged to come up with holistic programmes to address the increase in HIV cases in the country, especially among the youth, as well as provide more drugs and assistance for the treatment of persons living with HIV/AIDS.

"Sometimes, people after testing positive, need further testing and care. Once they cannot afford that, their situation may deteriorate," they said.

"Tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/Aids treatment need to be funded, and this funding should be done on time," the recommendation stated.

The participants said government should take off taxes on sanitary products for girls to make it accessible, especially for school going girls.

They were of the opinion that school girls lacked adequate access to sanitary pads because they could not easily afford them, which forced them to stay at home “during the time of the month when they could not do without the pads”.

Girl child education in the country would be immensely improved once this is done, the recommendation said.

Other areas in which the government was encouraged to increase funding were education on family planning methods and improvement of water supply systems.

Mr. Randolph Agyeman of the Policy Programmes Department, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), who spoke on tax revenue, said there was the need for the citizenry to be encouraged, to inform revenue collection authorities on businesses that operated without paying taxes.

He said uncovering all loop-holes in revenue collection within the country, would enable the government to better serve the people.

Mr. Agyeman said the GRA was widening the tax net as much as possible, in order to improve upon the country's revenue collection.

The forum was organised by Send Ghana, an NGO, under the People for Health Project, in collaboration with PenPlusBite and the Ghana News Agency.

Mr. Adamu Mukaila, Civil Society Advisor, People for Health Project, Send Ghana, told the Ghana News Agency that the key aim of the forum was to ensure that government distributed resources in needed areas, with regards to the 2020 budget.

He said this year's forum focused on health and taxation, adding that, the recommendations of the forum would be sent to the Finance and Health Ministries.

"The ministries need to know the priorities of the citizenry," Mr. Mukaila said.

Participants at the forum were drawn from citizen groups such as persons living with HIV/AIDS and Disabilities, Women Groups, Traditional Authorities and District Health Management teams and Assemblies.

The forum, which is held annually, seeks to collate citizen’s inputs, towards informing government on priority areas, when planning for the national budget.