The Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) in collaboration with Ghana Health Service, at the weekend held a health forum to examine the opportunities to give out an effective, efficient and affordable health care system.
The focus of the forum is on the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone.
The forum is aimed at dialoguing with development partners, experts from the health sector, members of parliament from the SADA Ecological zone as well as regional ministers of from the Upper East, Upper West, Northern and the Brong- Ahafo Regions.
The objective was also to examine how partners and stakeholders on health could accelerate progress in the SADA zone so that Ghanaians would be able to access quality healthcare especially pregnant women to deliver their babies with skilled health personnel.
Alhaji Limuna Mohammed-Muniru, Northern Regional Minister who opened the two-day forum on the theme: “Bridging the equity gap in health delivery in the SADA zone,” said government is investing heavily in the provision of health infrastructure would and partner with other development agencies to tackle the restrictions in the human resource gaps in the health sector.
He said the government is trying to achieve this by expanding access to facilities for training health practitioners and specialists and investing heavily in road infrastructure from the rural health facilities to regional and teaching hospitals for treatment to improve the human resource situation in the health sector.
Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru said the Region is the largest in the country and its problems including health is equal to its size and therefore urged health experts to help address these challenges to enhance the living conditions of the people.
He said it is important for experts to brainstorm on how to reduce the current high malnutrition and under five mortality rates in SADA zone to the barest minimum, how to improve health planning, implementing and monitoring and evaluation at the community and district levels.
Other areas of concern the minister mentioned included how to better coordinate health interventions within the SADA zone, to ensure equality and to achieve the expected outcomes.
He said with a collective responsibility of all these interventions would ensure building of equitable and efficient health system for the country.
Madam Akua Kwateng-Addo, Health Director at the United States Agency for International Development called on other development partners to come together to give SADA the needed financial support to stand on its feet to solve problems in its operational area.
She said SADA’s comparative advantage and role should be geared towards galvanising government, development partners and civil society resources to accelerate health development while empowering existing structures to change the status quo.
She said: “We as development partners, we need to look more closely at how we can work together cohesively with the zonal, regional and district institutions,” to help SADA to succeed.
“We need a paradigm shift in our health development agenda by working together to make sure the SADA ecological zone is a priority for health.
Mr Charles Abugre, Chief Executive Officer of SADA said a 20-year strategic plan was developed in 2010 while a five-year business development plan was also undertaken to roll-out the strategy.
He expressed the need for stakeholder and development partner support for SADA to succeed.
He said SADA had also initiated the process of developing a framework for spatial planning with the Town and Country Planning Department to feed into a master planning exercise, which had been planned to kick-off soon by bring experts across sectors.