West Africa International Health Summit launched

Prof George Gyan-Baffour, Minister for Planning

The West Africa International Health Summit, a global health meeting to create a platform for hospital leaders, policy makers and health professionals across borders has been launched in Accra.

The conference would share practical experiences and current best practices in healthcare and also provide opportunity for the leaders and decision makers to interface with manufacturers of the latest healthcare technologies, products, equipment and services.

Prof George Gyan-Baffour, Minister for Planning, who was represented by Mrs Magdalene Apenteng, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry commended the organisers of the upcoming programme, saying that, the event would provide the platform to promote the best practices in healthcare facilities and explore ways to enhance cooperation between hospitals in Africa.

The three-day forum, which is scheduled for February 20-22, 2019 is under the theme: “Collaborating through networking and technology for improved healthcare in Africa”.

The summit is expected to host 691 manufacturers and suppliers, and over 30 sessions in various disciplines ranging from Health Finance, Health Management and Administration, Telemedicine, UN SDGs, Public Health, Nursing, Herbal Medicine and Diagnostics, among others.

Prof Gyan-Baffour also indicated that, as the chairman of the high level ministerial committee on the SDGs, he is interested in ensuring a collaborative effort to achieve the SDGs and the Africa 2063 agenda.

He said the forum therefore presents an opportunity to facilitate and coordinate the several agencies towards creating competitive advantage to drive success and achieve the expected outcomes.

Prof Gyan-Baffour also stated that the agenda and programme of the summit would provide practical training sessions and workshops on the latest cutting-edge technologies to be delivered by renowned experts.

He said the meeting would stimulate cooperation among African healthcare facilities and also create an African healthcare directory to continuously bring to light the progress made by healthcare facilities on the continent.

Professor Nuhu Zakariah, Chief Executive of the Ghana Ambulance Service (GAS) also applauded the organiser of the impending summit saying any activity that attempt to improve the healthcare of the people should be welcomed.

He stressed the need for collaboration and networking among the various stakeholders in the healthcare sector to be more effective.

“Those of us in the emergency services get worried especially when we see that as a country we have a poor emergency response system. It is not difficult to have an efficient one, all we need is just collaboration of right organisations” he added.

Prof Zakariah also expressed delight by the GAS to be part of the summit, adding that, the initiative was commendable.

He said the healthcare facilities in the sub-region needs to cooperate to ensure better health delivery for their people.

“As West Africans, we have the human resources, what we need to do is to collaborate, sometimes you have resources that are underutilized simply because we are not collaborating enough” he added.

Prof Zakariah further stated that in many of the advanced countries, majority of the experts running those health delivery systems are Africans, adding that, their expertise could be tapped by bringing them back home.

Mr Kwaku Asensu Brobbey, Communication Director of the Mental Health Authority (MHA) expressed excitement about the media launch of the health summit and said he was looking forward to the event on February, 2019.

He said the MHA is interested in the technology aspect of the summit since the authority has identified many challenges in that area.

He explained that, though the MHA does not have enough psychiatrist in the country, however with technology they would be able to bridge that gap.

Mr Asensu Brobbey said one area the authority wants to focus on is tele-psychiatry, which they believe the conference would be able to provide the appropriate collaboration and networking in that aspect.


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