The Ministry of Health has called for stakeholder collaboration to bring out the best solution to sustain public health financing in future pandemics.
Mr Kweku Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, said enhancing funding for future emergencies required strategies to mobilise the required resources from a variety of stakeholders.
The Minister made the call at the launch of the maiden edition of the Dean’s Inaugural Quarterly seminar series organised by the University of Ghana School of Public Health to discuss sustainable approaches to financing public health emergencies.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had emphasised the need to reform the health sector and as such Ghana’s quest to invest in vaccine manufacturing and effective research and innovation were important steps to ensure that the country was not caught off guard in future pandemics.
Mr Agyeman-Manu outlined the various interventions instituted by the Government in the wake and fight against COVID-19 and expressed appreciation to the academia, development partners and all others for the support.
The seminar series, which will be held quarterly on the state of the nation’s health, seeks to serve as a platform for highlighting and discussing key challenges facing Ghana’s health sector, and identifying pragmatic approaches to addressing them.
The event, organised by the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization in collaboration with the Duke Global Health Institute USA, was on the theme “Financing Public Health Emergencies in Ghana”.
Professor Kwasi Torpey, the Dean, School of Public Health, said the Covid-19 pandemic and emerging threats of other viral infectious diseases demanded a careful look at the country’s healthcare system, and as such advocating for sustainable financing for public health emergencies was relevant.
Dr Francis Kasolo, the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, speaking at the event, commended the School of Public Health for instituting the seminar series.
Speaking on the expenditure in the health sector in Ghana and across the world for COVID-19, Dr Kasolo, called for the integration of public health financing in Ghana’s national agenda for future pandemics.
He said public financing was core in every country and that Ghana needed to adjust to the financial management system to align with public spending on service delivery objectives and to review accountability and efficiency for minimal wastage.
“Every sector of the discussion, including the private sector should be included and play a significant role in financing public health emergencies, especially when it comes to preparedness,” he stated.
Dr Kasolo urged the government to look at developing and investing in preparedness capacities so that during emergencies the country would be able to handle the impact.
In a roundtable discussion on the state of public health emergencies financing, panelists called for a national fund, transcending all sectors of the economy for future emergencies and happenings.
They called for a public private participation in establishing the national fund to ensure increased accountability and transparency in the disbursement of funds to enhance preparedness and response.