The Ministries of Health and Finance and Economic Planning on Wednesday signed a 70 million dollars agreement with the Danish Government (DANIDA) in aid of the fifth phase of the Health Sector Programme Support (HSPS) in the country.
In addition to enhancing the health sector, it is expected to focus on areas such as transportation, water and sanitation, good governance, human rights and private sector development.
Addressing the media in Accra, Mr Joseph Yileh Chireh, outgoing Health Minister said Danida’s support to the country had focused on primary health care interventions that aimed at the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
He said the main share of the support which had been given as a sector budget had generated positive results in several areas such as a reduction in the under-five mortality rate, growing number of supervised deliveries and a nearly complete eradication of guinea worm cases.
The minister stated that there was the need to offer continuous support to help address other challenges if the country was to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 by 2015.
“Even though maternal mortality rate has decreased, it remains the second largest cause of female death” he said.
Mr Yileh Chireh said government was committed to enhancing a better working environment for health workers, adding that much needed to be done in the area of improving Family Planning in the country.
Dr Kwabena Duffour, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said the new phase of the project would also ensure the provision of quality health and nutrition services to people, especially those in the rural areas as well as develop the local health sector.
He said in the area of human rights, the government would ensure the rights of the mentally ill in addition to supporting efforts to ensure universal access to prevention, treatment and care of all, including the vulnerable.
Dr Duffour stated that the support would be given as a core funding to support the implementation of the Christian Health Association of Ghana’s (CHAG) Strategic Plan and Programme of work.
This, he said would help promote the health needs of the poor and vulnerable in the country by assisting the institutional development of the private non-profit sector.
Mr Carsten Pedersen, Danish Ambassador to Ghana said DAINDA would, in collaboration with government and other development partners continue to focus on moving affordable quality health care closer to the people, in addition to addressing sexual and reproductive health services, among others.
He expressed appreciation to the government for its continuous cordial relationship with the Danish Government, pledging the more assistance to maintain the relationship.
DANIDA has since the mid- 1990’s supported the health sector in Ghana with its assistance increasing over the years. The current phase of the project is expected to end in 2016.