Foreign Minister Bids Outgoing WHO Rep Farewell

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has bid the outgoing Ghana Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Owen Laws Kawula, farewell.

Dr. Kaluwa officially assumed office as the WHO Country Representative on December 1, 2015.

On Thursday, November 7, 2019, he called on the Foreign Minister at her office in Accra to inform her about the end of his official duty in Ghana.

Madam Ayorkor Botchwey on the occasion, acknowledged his achievements in Ghana and Africa as a whole.

She wished Dr. Kawula a safe trip and success in his future endeavours.

The Minister further commended the WHO for the provision of technical support for the rapid response to the containment of the cholera outbreak in the Central Region of Ghana in 2017 and the influenza outbreak in Kumasi Academy in 2018.

She acknowledged the selection of Ghana as one of the three pilot countries in Africa for the implementation of the Malaria Vaccine Initiative Programme.

The Malaria Vaccine Initiative Programme is intended to drastically reduce and prevent Malaria in young children and ultimately improve child health.

Again, the Minister expressed gratitude to both Dr. Kawula and the WHO for the support given to Ghana to increase awareness and understanding about the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) which is key to ensuring quality health services for all.

According to her, Ghana will continue to collaborate with the WHO to ensure that the organization’s proposed policy recommendations are duly considered to save and improve the quality of lives of Ghanaians.

“For instance, the Organization’s call for improved funding for hepatitis testing and treatment services would be adhered to,” she added.

The Minister revealed that the Government of Ghana is fully committed to providing better and accessible healthcare delivery for all which is evident in the recent acquisition of 275 ambulances for use in Ghana’s 275 constituencies which is expected to greatly the country’s emergency response.

Again, she recounted that the launch of Ghana’s largest drone delivery service in April 2019 will further improve healthcare delivery, especially in hard-to-reach areas by delivering emergency essential vaccines and life-saving medications and blood products to over 2000 health facilities across the country.

Dr. Kawula observed the need to involve the private sector to contribute in healthcare delivery.

He bemoaned that some of the health challenges in the country are about lifestyles.

He therefore urged positive lifestyle changes from individuals, encouraging them to be mindful of their health.

He called for collaboration in UHC and epidemic management in Ghana, adding that healthcare services under UHC should be of quality.

Commenting on experiences in Ghana, he revealed that he had seen a lot of development and improvements in healthcare delivery in the country.

Going forward, he urged that cross-sectorial collaboration would be key in delivering quality healthcare in Ghana.

BY Melvin Tarlue

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