Prioritise health, educational infrastructure – Gov’t urged

Social Health Infrastructure
Social Health Infrastructure

The government has been urged to prioritise and increase funding allocation towards the provision of health and educational infrastructure in the 2023 national budget.

The call was made by some Ghanaians at a stakeholder forum organised in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region as part of activities to collate inputs into the 2023 national budget statement and economic policy.

They said increased funding for health infrastructure with significant attention paid to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) would help address the numerous challenges in the delivery of quality healthcare services particularly at the community levels.

Additionally, paying attention to the development of school infrastructure with accompanied staff accommodation would provide a good environment for effective teaching and learning and help improve the quality of education, they said

They also urged government to increase funding to support women in agriculture and social intervention policies that would alleviate the suffering of the vulnerable particularly women, children and persons with disabilities.

The forum was organised by the Social Enterprise Development Foundation (SEND Ghana), an advocacy Non- Governmental Organisation in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

Mr Louis Tindan, the Training Coordinator, Bolgatanga Health Directorate, Ghana Health Service, speaking on behalf of the health workers at the forum, noted that many Community-based Health Planning Services zones were without compounds and it was impeding healthcare delivery and needed to be addressed.

“Most of our facilities are not up to standard or better still, a lot of our communities do have structured facilities whether CHPS or health centres, even with hospitals and it is not just Upper East but most of the districts across the country do not have hospitals and it is about time we prioritised the health of our people,” he said.

Mr Tindan said for the Ghana to achieve the Universal Health Coverage Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the government needed to take concerted efforts to address the infrastructure deficit in the healthcare sector.

Mr Tindan also suggested that government could make some percentage allocation of the revenue accrued from the natural resources including gold, petroleum and cocoa to the financing of health needs of the country including the supply of drugs and other non-consumable items.

Mr Joseph Ayamga, the Social Services Sub-Committee Convenor, Bolgatanga Municipal Assembly, noted that the current educational system was not attractive due to the poor state of the infrastructure.

“You will go to a school and there is no place of convenience for the children and a whole lot of infrastructure challenges including offices and staff accommodation, so we think government should source funds to provide the needed infrastructure for smooth academic work,” he said.

Mr Fred Yirilabuo, Principal Economics Officer, Ministry of Finance, noted that the global factors had posed serious economic challenges on the country making the living conditions of Ghanaians difficult but government was working to address the challenges.

He said the inputs would help government to effectively plan and allocate resources appropriately towards resolving challenges in all the critical sectors.

The forum brought together stakeholders working in various sectors including education, health, WASH, women, children, and social protection, nutrition and persons with disabilities among others.

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