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Health News of Thursday, 10 June 2021

Source: GNA

Government tasked to enhance capacity of locally-based pharmaceutical companies

SEND Ghana, a subsidiary of SEND Foundation of West Africa, has tasked the government to expedite measures to enhance the capacity of locally-based pharmaceutical companies to manufacture medications as well as set up bio-equivalence centres to test the potency of medicines.

The Organisation also called on the government to increase investment in infrastructure for e-health and tele-health to enhance virtual health service delivery across the country.

It revealed that an increasing investment in e-health, for example, will increase access for people who live far from facilities, especially district and tertiary hospitals, to have access to physician specialists without having to travel long distances.

Dr Emmanuel Ayifah, Deputy Country Director, SEND GHANA in a release signed and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), disclosed that the investment would facilitate Primary Health Care (PHC) service delivery in the face of epidemic outbreaks such as cholera, meningitis, and COVID-19.

He also called for the establishment of holding centres in all health facilities in preparation for future disease outbreaks and to equip emergency response teams in readiness for service delivery during health emergencies.

Dr Ayifah noted that the call on the government was informed by a recent monitoring report on the state of PHC amidst the raging COVID-19 pandemic commissioned by the Organisation with support from CHAMPIONS OF GLOBAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHT (PAI).

“The report sought to elicit feedback on the impact of COVID-19 on the delivery of PHC services, focusing on the availability of required services and medications,” he added.

The Deputy Director said the report targeted five selected groups- the aged, lactating mothers, Persons Living with HIV (PLHIVs), youth, and Persons with Disabilities.

He said the report revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic and its counter-measures affected PHC services in many different ways with the suspension of outreach services and home visits.

Dr Ayifah said in some areas, clients spent less time with doctors, reported a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment and medications for some chronic conditions adding that the unavailability of vital signs services to monitor health status, and dispensing of different drug combinations for PLHIVs, caused some untold side effects on patients.

The Deputy Director noted that while the outbreak of the COVID-19 adversely impacted the health delivery system the world over, the fragility in Ghana's health systems was brought to the fore at the height of the crisis.

He noted that the importance of PHC in the healthcare delivery chain could not be overemphasised since the service addressed the majority of a person's health needs throughout their lifetime.

Dr Ayifah said SEND GHANA was positive that the government and the Ministry of Health would consider implementing the proposed recommendations to enhance quality and effective PHC delivery, especially in the remotest parts of the country since it was critical to achieving a Universal Health Coverage (UHC).