August 8, 2011

The Government has procured for distribution to district hospitals, 161 ambulances, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, the Minister of Health (MOH) has announced.

He said this formed part of efforts at improving the quality of health care delivery.

The Minister said this in a speech read for him at the opening session of the 33rd annual congress of the Ghana Society of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners (SPMDP) in Kumasi.

The three-day meeting is under the theme “National Disasters, National Preparedness and Response”, and its being attended by about 100 delegates from all over the country.

They are discussing effective ways to respond to national emergencies.

Mr Chireh expressed the government determination to transform the health sector and ensure that the people had access to quality care.

He said it was only when the people were healthy that they could make significant contributions to the socio-economic development of the nation.

The Minister said the theme of the congress was appropriate in view of the disasters that had struck the nation over the years, leading to the loss of lives and wrecking of infrastructure.

The government would therefore appreciate any effort by the private sector and other professionals to help effectively deal with unexpected occurrences.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, raised concern about the incidence of fire outbreaks, citing those of Kumasi Central, Takoradi and Agbogbloshie markets and said there was the need to adopt preventive measures.

There should also be a “preparedness plan” to swiftly respond to them when they occur.

Dr Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minster, said earthquakes that hit Haiti and Japan and the recent floods in parts of the Eastern, Ashanti, Volta Regions and other areas of the country should serve as a wake-up call to all.

It was important to step up the “gate keeping activities” and put in place mitigating measures so as to minimize the adverse effects of disasters.

Dr J.K. Hanson, National President of the Society, said they had taken delivery of a Toyota Hilux pick-up from the National Malaria Control Programme to aid them in the fight against malaria.