The International Perspective for Policy and Governance (IPPG), has facilitated a roundtable convened by the Young Diplomats of Ghana (YDG) to assess Ghana’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The YDG is IPPG’s youth diplomacy and advocacy wing.
A statement issued by IPPG, copied to the Ghana News Agency said the meeting also deliberated on policy strategies to build a resilient health system that could accelerate universal health access for all Ghanaians.
It said the meeting which was held in Accra on the theme, “Building Back Better: Harnessing Resources to Achieve Health for All in the Post COVID-19 Era” brought together Government officials and policymakers, public health experts, economists, diplomats, international relations practitioners, young people, and other stakeholders to deliberate on the subject matter.
It brought to fore that Ghana adopted a five-prong strategy to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement noted that the strategy included limiting the importation of the coronavirus, controlling community spread, providing adequate care for the sick, mitigating the socio-economic impact on citizens, and building capacity to reduce dependence on foreign countries and donors.
It said according to the experts gathered for the meeting, the strategy was very encouraging, having yielded positive results that curbed the fast spread of the virus across the country.
It noted that a key component of the performance of Ghana’s strategy was identified as the political will to tackle the pandemic.
It said this included the high-risk mitigation measures adopted by government based on advice and recommendations from scientists and experts of which the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) was instrumental.
The statement said the inter-ministerial and multisectoral approach adopted by government to implement the strategy was also identified as an innovative conduit through which COVID-19 was streamlined, monitored, and managed across the multiple sectors of the economy.
It said to strengthen the multisectoral approach, the COVID-19 Recovery Plan was developed by the NDPC to ensure that government’s recovery strategies are implemented across all levels of the governance chain.
It said Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) led the implementation of the strategy at the subnational level, including districts and the local communities.
The statement said the NDPC was currently in the process of formalizing an Emergency Response Strategy to consolidate the gains achieved through the recovery plan and to ensure continuity and sustainability of the recovery process.
“To build back better, government is committed to raising a GH¢100 billion fund to support the implementation of the Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) Obaatanpa Programme,” it said.
It said the Government was also on course to secure enough COVID-19 vaccines to vaccinate all Ghanaians.
The statement said about million COVID-19 vaccines were currently in storage ready for deployment and administration.
It said on universal healthcare, participants at the meeting unanimously agreed that Ghana had in place several policies that could drive the country towards the path of sustainable access to universal healthcare by 2030 as envisaged by Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Well Being).
It said these policies must however be crystalized to overcome the implementation blocks likely to hinder the successful roll out and outcomes of the policy targets.
The statement said a new IPPG policy report to be released based on this roundtable gathering of experts would provide answers to these questions.