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Health News of Sunday, 20 May 2007

Source: GNA

Nutrition, hygiene crucial to good health-Minister

Accra, May 20, GNA - The Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashigah (rtd), says preventing ill health through good nutrition and hygiene was as important as curative measures such as the adequate supply of drugs and availability of health personnel and facilities.

He said, whilst people were usually concerned with cures for ailments, few showed equal interest in all the measures that one could take to minimise the occurrence of diseases.

The Minister was speaking to journalists on arrival at the Kotoka International Airport from Geneva-Switzerland, where he attended three health conferences. They were the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI) meeting, the Commonwealth Health Ministers (CHM) meeting and the World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting.

Major Quashigah said the time had come for Africans to stop solving problems on the continent by completely looking up to more developed countries. He said, "our ability to come up with solutions within the health sector through observing our own peculiar circumstances was crucial to ensuring good health on the continent. The Minister noted that good nutrition and hygiene had a direct link to the occurrence of diseases, adding That, apart from exceptional cases, taking care of the former certainly had a corresponding impact on the latter.

He said extensive education on preventive health measures both in schools and within communities could go a long way to prevent the occurrence of diseases not only in Ghana but the continent as a whole. Dr. Frank Nyonator, Director of Policy, Planning And Evaluation at the Ghana Health Services, who accompanied the Minister, said the GAVI meeting was to promote the supply of vaccines to developing countries.

He said at that meeting, Major Quashigah said there was the need to speed up recommendations to support developing countries with the drugs they needed.

Dr Nyonator said at the CHM meeting, resolutions Were adopted to strengthen health systems in developing countries. He said, the Minister called for a change in attitude at all levels of health delivery in developing countries, adding that health education from the educational to the community level was most important. Dr. Nyonator said the Minister stressed on the need to make regenerative health and nutrition a cornerstone of improving upon health in developing countries.

Also with the Minister on the two-week trip were Dr Elias Sory, Director General, Ghana Health Services, Dr Edward Addai, Director of Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Health, Madam Salimatu Abdul Salam, Director of Administration, and Mr. Lepowura Jawula, Chief Director. The rest were Mr Isaac Adams, Director for Research and Information Management, Ministry of Health, Mr Emanuel Agyarko, Chief executive officer of the Food and Drugs Board, Ms Ema Ofori Agyemang, Assistant Director-Office of the Minister and Mrs Augustine Demeloo, Principal for Midwifery School, Hohoe. 22 May 07