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General News of Saturday, 1 July 2006

Source: GNA

Health Minister cuts sod for construction of Hospital

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Gushiegu (NR), July 01, GNA - Major Courage Quarshiga (Rtd), Minister of Health on Saturday advised Ghanaians to continue to practice healthy and good lifestyles to the maximum to prevent them from contracting certain preventable diseases in their environs. He said it was good for the government and other donor agencies to provide communities with health facilities; it was better for the citizens to ensure that they practice good hygiene and stop acts that would expose them to diseases that would lead them to hospitals or cause their deaths.

The Minister gave the advice at Gushiegu in the Gushiegu district on Saturday when he cut the sod for the construction of a 17-million euro district hospital for the people of Gushiegu to provide quality health care delivery to the community.

The Ghana and the Dutch governments are funding the project, scheduled to be completed in two years time. The project when completed would be equipped with modern facilities such as In-Patient accommodations, Accident and Emergency wards, two operating theatres, laboratories, X-ray and scanner machines, pharmacy and ambulances.

Two semi-detached quarters for resident doctors and 16 bungalows for nurses would also be constructed to ensure that health personnel posted to work there would not have accommodation problems.

Major Quarshiga said there was the need to promote healthy lifestyles and create health consciousness among the populace so that preventable illnesses could be avoided to reduce the disease burden in communities and hospitals.

He said improving and expanding health facilities to make healthcare delivery more accessible in the country was the utmost priority of the government and gave the assurance that government would continue to support the health sector to grow. The Minister reiterated his call on Ghanaians to adopt healthy lifestyles by eating healthy foods, exercise regularly and having adequate rest and keeping a healthy environment for their health status to improve.

He said the approach on health and healthcare services is a multi facetted one, which comprised both preventive and health promotion and curative remedies to improve health care in the country. Major Quarshiga said the Health Ministry was taking policy measures to promote and adopt preventive health more seriously and as such had launched a new paradigm for health, which places a balanced emphasis on promotion, preventive and curative services and expressed the hope that Ghanaians would support the new paradigm for a better healthcare. He advised the chiefs and people of Gushiegu to be watchdogs of the project to ensure that materials were not diverted but were used to complete the project to alleviate their health problems. Alhaji Mustapha Ali Iddris, Northern Regional Minister warned community members not to disturb the contractors but they should try to help them to complete the project in the stipulated time frame. He appealed to the District Assembly not discriminate in engaging the services of people in the project saying, "Employment to work with the contractors should be devoid of political lines" since the project belonged to everyone in the community. 02 July 06

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