The Presbyterian Church of Ghana Department of Development and Social Services (DSS)2021 Consultative Forum to take stock of the activities of the Department is underway at Abokobi in the Ga East Municipality.
The four-day forum brings together stakeholders from the health, education and agriculture sectors to review the various activities of the Church in these sectors across the country and to improve the Department’s work.
It is on the theme: “Demonstrating the Light of Jesus Christ Through Social Services.”
The Right Reverend Professor Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church, said the Church deemed it as an obligation to support the society by providing their spiritual and social needs.
He said the PCG was one of the major stakeholders in health service delivery in the country.
The PCG currently runs a total of 55 health facilities in the country, spreading over 10 administrative regions, with a total workforce of over 3,650 and a total bed capacity of 1,598.
Rt. Rev. Mante said one thing distinctive about the Church was the excellent collaboration between it, the government, and the communities in serving the people.
He said the PCG supports Agenda 111, a plan by the government to construct 111 health facilities to ensure that Ghanaians in every district or region have access to quality healthcare services.
The Moderator said with the Church’s long and rich experience in the management of hospitals, they trust that some of the district hospitals, when completed, will be given to the Churches with good records in the sector to manage.
He said the Church acknowledges that it is the primary responsibility of the Government to provide health services to the people.
“We have also admitted that that the government alone cannot bear this huge responsibility, and has, thus, welcome the call for increase private sector participation in health service delivery to complement the government’s efforts,” he added.
Mr Kwahu Agyeman-Manu, the Minister of Health, in a speech read on his behalf, noted that though Ghana has made steady progress over several decades towards improving the health and wellbeing of the people, “we have not achieved the desired level of health.
That, he said, was because the health system has not adequately addressed, in a comprehensive manner, all the key determinants of health with the current health service delivery model.
” Consequently, the need for a revised Health Policy to cover key determinants of health and not just healthcare became increasingly paramount.”
He said the recently revised National Health Policy (NHP, 2020), themed “Ensuring Healthy Lives” was a response to the afore mentioned issues.
The Minister said the Ministry is much aware of the contributions of Church Health Services in the country, including that of the PCG, in the provision of health service delivery.
“Your pioneering role in the establishment of Faith-based health facilities in Ghana cannot be overemphasised and is well acknowledged by my Ministry,” he added.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Afriyie Akoto, in a speech read for him, said government recognises the crucial role the PCG and other faith-based organisations play in national development.
He expressed the Ministry’s preparedness to collaborate and partner in especially the agricultural value chain space.
The Minister, therefore, urged the Church to position itself and take advantage of the government flagship programme, which ensures supply of subsidised agricultural inputs and machinery to individual farmers and cooperating groups.