SEND GHANA calls on the Government of Ghana to increase investment in infrastructure for e-health and telehealth to enhance virtual health service delivery across the country.
A press release signed the Deputy Country Director of SEND GHANA, Emmanuel Ayifah, PhD, and copied to News Ghana, it noted that, “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.
Besides, it will facilitate PHC service delivery in the face of epidemic outbreaks such as cholera, meningitis, and COVID-19. In addition, the government needs to expedite measures to enhance the capacity of locally-based pharmaceutical companies to manufacture medications as well as set up bioequivalence centres to test the potency of medicines.
The government should also establish holding centers in all health facilities in preparedness for future disease outbreaks and equip Emergency Response teams in readiness for service delivery during health emergencies.
These recommendations are informed by a recent monitoring report on the state of Primary Health Care (PHC) amidst the raging COVID-19 pandemic commissioned by SEND GHANA with support from CHAMPIONS OF GLOBAL REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHT (PAI).
The report sought to elicit feedback on the impact of COVID19 on the delivery of PHC services, focusing on the availability of required services and medications.
It targeted five selected groups— the aged, lactating mothers, Persons Living with HIV, youth, and Persons with Disabilities. It revealed that the COVID-19 pandemic and its counter-measures affected PHC services in many different ways.
Outreach services and home visits were suspended in some areas, clients spent less time with doctors, reported shortage of Personal Protective Equipment and medications for some chronic conditions, the unavailability of vital signs services to monitor health status, and dispensing of different drug combinations for PLHlVs, causing some untold side effects on patients.
While the outbreak of the COVID 19 adversely impacted the health delivery system the world over, the fragility in Ghana’s health systems was especially brought to the fore at the height of the crisis.
PHC service addresses the majority of a person’s health needs throughout their lifetime. Thus, the importance of PHC in the healthcare delivery chain cannot be overemphasized.
SEND GHANA is 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, considering that effective PHC delivery is critical in our quest to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).”