By: Ministry of Health, Ghana
Commencement Date: Tues. 7th Sep, 2021 at 12.00pm
Deadline: Fri, 17th Sep, 2021 at 6.00pm
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The National Executive Council (NEC) of GMA having met and deliberated extensively on developments concerning the demands by Ghana Medical Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists (GAMLs) of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) chapter to have two Haematologists (Laboratory Physicians) removed from the laboratory and the practice of laboratory medicine generally in the country, hereby states as follows;
Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, the Minister of Health has launched an improved facilitating technology known as the District Health Information Management System (DHIMS2) Dashboard, for programme tracking and improving cause of death statistics.
The DHIMS, which was first deployed by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) in 2012, had been used for the collection and analysing of routine health service data, and operated in all the 216 districts.
It is currently available to all health facilities and service delivery points.
Over 10,000 users from government, quasi-government, private and faith-based facilities currently submit their service reports each month through the DHIMS 2 Dashboard.
The system was responsive to the needs of the service and users and could be used to track key performance indicators within the health sector.
Mr Agyeman Manu, who launched the facility at the first GHS Senior Managers’ Meeting in Accra on Tuesday, appreciated the hard work done by the Team that improved upon the DHIMS.
He said the improved facility was important for accurate data, particularly on death, which was crucial for population planning and estimation, accountability, and evidenced-based decision making for the health sector.
He called for effective supervision of the entire process, to ensure that health workers and professionals impute data accurately and timely to ensure the achievement of the expected objectives of the DHIMS.
The Health Minister used the opportunity to officially introduce himself to the Ministry’s stakeholders and health care professionals.
He pledged his commitment to sustain the collaboration that had existed between their institutions over the years, to ensure quality health care delivery.
He also presented his position outcomes as the new sector Minister, which included ensuring equitable and affordable access to health care, staff motivation and client satisfaction, and appealed to the health partners for support in achieving the expected results.
He promised to make use of his training background as an accountant to look for the needed funding to facilitate the work of the health sector for growth.
Mr Agyeman Manu said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had already demonstrated his commitment to improving access to health healthcare.
The Health Minister said President Akufo-Addo at the weekend charged the Minister of Finance Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, to immediately look for money to reimburse all service providers of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and sustain such payments monthly, to save the system from collapsing.
Dr Anthony Nsia Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said the meeting would discuss among other things, the performance of the health sector in the previous year and strategise on addressing the challenges that confronted it.
He said funding remained a major setback to access to quality health care in Ghana, citing the challenges currently confronting the NIHS as worrying, and appealed to the ministry to quickly intervene to address the “panic” situation.
The GHS he said was currently consulting with the MOH to engage Part-time health professionals at the Regional health facilities, strengthen the use of Information and Communications Technology and its governance.
Introduce Tele-medicine and mobile health via the use of phones and connect the Community Health Care Planning and Services (CHPS) programmes to health Centres and teaching hospitals.
There was a joint presentation on the highlights of the DHIMS2 Dashboard and cause of death statistics by Mr Dominic K. Atweam, the Head of the Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation of the Centre for Health Information Management (CHIM), and Dr Samuel Buabeng also of the same Unit.
They explained that all health facilities collect service data from the community level and impute into the DHIMS2 online daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly per given schedules.
The benefits of the DHIMS, they said included the reliance on local data rather than international estimates and create a platform for information exchange.
Diets which cut out dairy food could be a “ticking time bomb” for young people’s bone health, a charity is warning.
A National Osteoporosis Society survey found a fifth of under-25s are cutting out or reducing dairy in their diet.
It said it was concerned many young adults were putting their health at risk by following eating fads.
Cutting out dairy can be healthy if enough calcium is consumed from other sources, such as nuts, seeds and fish.
The charity surveyed 2,000 adults, including 239 under the age of 25 and 339 aged 25-35.
The charity’s survey suggests that many young people seek dietary advice from bloggers and vloggers on the internet.
Although some of this advice can be good, the charity is concerned some people become too restrictive about what they eat.
A recent Food Standards Agency survey found that nearly half of 16-24 year olds said they had an intolerance to cow’s milk and dairy products, compared to just 8% of over-75s.
Yet only 24% had actually had their condition diagnosed by a doctor.
Prof Susan Lanham-New, head of nutritional sciences at the University of Surrey and clinical advisor to the National Osteoporosis Society, said: “Diet in early adulthood is so important because by the time we get into our late 20s it is too late to reverse the damage caused by poor diet and nutrient deficiencies and the opportunity to build strong bones has passed.”
What foods are rich in calcium?
Cheeses, yoghurt and milk are the main source of calcium in our diets
- Dairy products are the main source of calcium – for example, milk, cheese and yoghurt
- Cow’s milk is the best source, but soya and almond milk may also contain calcium if they are fortified
- Skimmed and semi-skimmed milk contain more calcium than full fat cow’s milk
- Vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish and white flour products also contain calcium
- Choose low-fat cheese and yoghurt to cut down on fat intake, although crisps and biscuits contain much more fat
For adults, 700mg of calcium per day is recommended but boys and girls between 11 and 18 need up to 1000mg.
However, a quarter of teenagers in the UK are thought to consume less than the minimum 400mg of calcium every day, dietary surveys suggest.
Recommended levels can be achieved by eating three portions of dairy a day, such as cereal with milk, a yoghurt and a small chunk of cheddar cheese, experts say.
Consuming foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, such as dairy products, green leafy vegetables, salmon, sardines, broccoli and baked beans, is particularly important before the age of 25, the osteoporosis charity said.
It is urging parents to talk to their children about their diet.
After the age of 50, half of all women and one in five men develop osteoporosis, a fragile bone condition that causes painful fractures of the hip, wrist and spine.
Smoking, lack of exercise and fizzy drinks high in acid are all detrimental to healthy bones.
A spokeswoman from the British Nutrition Foundation said: “While it’s not necessarily dangerous to cut out dairy from your diet it’s important to ensure you get enough calcium from other sources. “Dairy tends to make the biggest contribution to our calcium intakes and so this needs to be replaced by other sources such as bread, cereal, canned fish, nuts, seeds and leafy green vegetables as well as choosing dairy alternatives that are fortified with calcium.”
Minister of Health Kwaku Agyemang-Manu has assured service providers of the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) that government is working assiduously to pay claims owed them.
According to the minister, settling the debts that the NHIA owes service providers is a top priority for government and the Health Ministry.
The NHIA owes health service providers under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) claims for the past seven months due to untimely release of funds to the NHIA.
The delay in the release of the funds has led to some facilities reverting to the cash-and-carry system.
However, Mr Agyemang-Manu stated that claims will be paid within the shortest possible time, adding that most health facilities have received their April 2016 claims as government works to pay that of May to October last year.
“The president has charged the Finance and Health Ministries to regularise disbursement of funds to the NHIA… let me assure you that every month I will get something,” he said.
He was speaking at the 2017 Ghana Health Service (GHS) senior management meeting and dashboard and improved cause of death statistics workshop themed: ‘transforming from MDGs to SDGs: the vital role of measurement for impact’.
Improved Cost of Death Statistics
The District Health Information Management System (DHIMS) of the Ghana Health Service deployed in 2012 to capture health data has revealed that only 25 percent of cause of deaths in health facilities is recorded.
Thus, in order to improve the health service data collection, including cause of death (COD) statistics, the GHS launched the DHIMS2 which is operational in 216 districts.
The service has moved a step further to create a new COD data to be a new medical COD certificate aligned to international standards.
Mr Agyemang-Manu, unveiling the new statistics, lamented the low record of COD in the country and urged the authorities involved to scale up their activities, especially with the introduction of the newly-improved COD statistics.
The health minister also used the platform to warn against the engagement of casual staff beyond six months as stipulated by the labour law.
He, thus, advised the heads of the various institutions to regularise the workers under that category with the GHS or discontinue their engagement in order to avoid any unfortunate incidence.
“I have directed the chef director that people employed as casual worker should cease immediately because the dangers have manifested in other facility,” he said.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, in his remarks, laid emphasis on leveraging ICT in the health sector.
“I will provide leadership for sustainable ICT to improve quality healthcare and strengthen the system for data governance and decision making. We will, therefore, employ Tele-nursing and mobile Medicare to provide services, especially in rural areas,” he said.
Dr Nsiah-Asare also mentioned that district hospitals, in collaboration with teaching hospitals, will have consultants upon arrangements to help medical practitioners gain practical experience from specialist.
He later called on development partners who want to assist to support the initiatives.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri