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Health News of Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Source: GNA

Ghana cannot achieve MDGs target on health – Coordinator

Mr Gabriel Gbiel Benarkuu, National Campaign Coordinator of the Universal Healthcare Campaign (UHC), an advocacy group, has said the country cannot achieve set targets for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for health.

This, he explained was because adequate budgetary allocations were not provided to achieve targets for Goals 4, 5 and 6 that covers child health, maternal mortality and HIV. Mr Benarkuu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Mission of Hope Society (MIHOSO), a non-governmental organisation was speaking at a sensitization workshop on post 2015 development framework and consultation processes of the MDGs in Sunyani.

The workshop was organized by MIHOSO in collaboration UHC and attended by representatives from the Ghana Health Service, National Health Insurance Scheme, Department of Social Welfare, Civil Society groups, NGOs and the media.

Mr Benarkuu said the issue of accessibility to health facilities, infrastructure, human resource and technology remained a challenge and that Brazil, Spain, South Africa, USA and Malaysia had made headway in the MDGs because of their advance in technology.

He said sustainable development could only be achieved with a broad alliance of people, governments, civil society and the private sector and stressed the need for the country to strengthen its international cooperation to address persistent challenges related to sustainable development.

Mr Benarkuu, who is also the Chairman of the Brong-Ahafo Network of NGOs (BANGO), said maternal mortality, infant and under five deaths as well as HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and other tropical diseases were still high.

He said there were still no indications that the country could attain access to safe, effective and quality and affordable essential medicines, vaccines and medical technologies as well as access to sexual and reproductive health for all. Mr Benarkuu said with 2015 set as the United Nations (UN) deadline for the MDGs, Ghana needed to strive and work tirelessly to ensure that at least there a drastic reduction especially in maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS cases.

“We believe that every citizen should be covered with quality promotion, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative interventions at an affordable cost, thereby achieving equity in access”, he added.

While admitting that no country could achieve Universal Health Coverage overnight, Mr Benarkuu emphasized it was prudent that best sustainable financing model be adopted to ensure that the country meet certain basic targets for the MDGs.

The participants in a communiqué issued after the workshop, urged the government to take the lead in pushing for the adoption of the World Health Organization’s proposed goal of ensuring healthy lives and Universal Health Coverage at All Ages.

They were of the view that the proposed health goals were more realistic and easy to achieve. The Universal Access to Health Care Campaign is a national advocacy network of Local and International NGOs that worked to help achieve the MDGs.

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