Dr Isabella Sagoe-Moses, National Child Health Coordinator, Ghana Health Service (GHS), has revealed that government has adopted pragmatic health financing and implementation plan to bridge the funding gaps identified in the health sector.
Government is engaging development partners and other stakeholders on the health financing plans, especially to deal with challenges relating to inflows into the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
Dr Sagoe-Moses was speaking during the presentation of Ghana’s third, fourth and fifth consolidated periodic report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child.
The report assessed the progress made by government with regards to the advancement of implementation and the status of children in terms of adherence to the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the realisation of their rights and freedoms at home, school and all other places in which they often find themselves, and the provision of their needs.
The session was chaired by Professor Benyam Dawit Mezmur, who is also the Chairperson of the 18- Member Committee of Experts.
Ghana’s delegation was headed by Nana Oye Lithur Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection, members of parliament, civil society activists and technocrats.
Dr Sagoe-Moses noted that the GHS had worked actively, leading to the reduction in mortality rates in those under five years, infants and newborns.
She said this was due to renewed efforts to increase access to essential preventive and curative services.
Strategies such as the yearly commemoration of child health promotion weeks, maternal and child health campaigns as well as the high impact rapid delivery approach have contributed to the reduction.
In line with the UN-CRC recommendation to continue to combat malaria and address environmental causes and strengthen availability of nets and insecticides, Dr Sagoe-Moses said Ghana has made remarkable improvements.
‘Evidence abound that under-five malaria case fatality has declined steadily over the review period,’ she said.
Citing the 2008 Demographic and Health Survey, Dr Sagoe-Moses said the survey shows significant increases in the proportion of children under five years and pregnant women aged 15-49 who use insecticide-treated nets (ITNs).
‘One third of households in Ghana now have at least one insecticide-treated mosquito net compared with only three percent of households in 2003. Overall, 28 percent of children under five, and 20 percent of pregnant women aged 15-49 sleep under an ITN, an improvement on what had been reported in the 2003.’
Dr Sagoe-Moses explained that the distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets to children at no cost has greatly improved bed net ownership over the years.
Indoor residual spraying has also been introduced and applied to complement efforts to reduce malaria.
‘Ghana has recently benefited from the affordable medicines for malaria facility, greatly reducing the cost of malaria treatment,’ she said.
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