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General News of Thursday, 31 July 2003

Source: GNA

Poverty is not the only cause of ill health

Kumasi, July 31, GNA - Dr Edith Tetteh, a Lecturer at the Department of Community Health, University of Ghana Medical School, has attributed ill-health not only to poverty but also to the reluctance of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and policy-makers to place greater premium on preventive health.

To address the problem and help improve upon the quality of health of the people, she said, it was crucial for the government to go beyond the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy and introduce additional interventions that would help people at all levels to generate income to meet their basic needs.

Dr Tetteh was delivering a lecture to mark the 10th anniversary of the introduction of Health Education Certificate Course at the Community Health Department of the School of Medical Sciences (SMS), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi.

She said the GHS had a unique role to play in addressing the problem of ill health especially among the rural communities by re-orienting its focus on health care services offered to the people.

"The current practice of over-concentrating on the curative service to the neglect of the other components of health services like preventive, promotional and rehabilitation, should give way to a more balanced approach in health care services.

"It is better to prevent diseases from occurring than waiting for them to come your way only for you to resort to curing them, hence the need for individuals to sacrifice a little of their resources to enhance their health instead of spending such funds lavishly", Dr Tetteh said.