Public Health

Public Health Services in Ghana

Public Health Services Ghana

Ghana Health Services, Ministry of Health and its partners by implementation of developed plans and monitoring of healthcare programmes and services are committed to provide quality and affordable healthcare services to the people of Ghana.

Functions and Objectives of Public Health Services

Public health services in Ghana ensure development of sustainable strategic plans and comprehensive public health policies; programmes and budgets to cover all healthcare activities and service; reviewing all activities and its programme implementation among public health partners; designing and applying various monitoring and evaluation systems for assessment and improvement of Ghana Public Health Services interventions and disease control.

The core functions are to coordinate, guide and develop short, medium and long-term plans or budgets for the public health programme development and plan financial assistance; development of surveillance and control systems for communicable and non-communicable diseases; provide support, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects in collaboration with various health programme; monitoring implementing agencies for effective and efficient promotion; review of public health strategies and intervention for financing and resourcing workforce or infrastructure allocation for quality healthcare access to consumers; management and accessibility of healthcare data for effective decision-making; development of Maternal, Adolescent and Child healthcare services through collaborative strategies; development of early warning systems for management of epidemics; monitoring and implementing public health programs and budget.

Public Health System in Ghana

The five levels of healthcare system are health posts, health centers and clinics, tertiary hospitals, regional hospitals and district hospitals.Healthcare in Ghana is well served in hospitals, clinics and pharmacies of urban centers of the country. The funds are generated from Internally Generated Fund (IGF), Government of Ghana and Donors-pooled Health Fund. Government and non-government funded clinics, hospitals and healthcare centers provide medical assistance to the Ghanaian population. Immunizations, vaccinations and other medicine available reduce the risk of infections and provide treatment to residents and travelers. The operation of health insurance schemes for treatment availability in Ghana is monitored by the National Health Insurance Authority which has resulted in reducing mortality rates.

Public Health Units (PHU) coordinates public health activities in hospitals and also links with various Health Directorates for responses. A functional public health unit helps develop hospital guidelines, conduct health assessment and assure the healthcare services. The main purpose is to promote healthy lifestyles by strengthening public health surveillance for prevention and control of all events in hospitals; facilitating screening services for communicable and non communicable diseases; ensuring protection of public health and safety; supporting research and development; coordinating public health programmes in the hospital; providing immunisation and child welfare services. This bridges the gap between public health and clinical care services along with the data collected generates timely response to priority health events. Morbidity and mortality due to healthcare associated infections has reduced among public health workers through effective public health surveillance system.

The challenges of the Ghana health system include inadequate financial health investments, limited healthcare facilities or workforce. These challenges can be ameliorated by establishing and expanding health institutions; providing incentives to health workers; introducing predictive, preventive and personalized medicine (PPPM) for treatment and amending insurance schemes to vulnerable groups along with appropriate usage of funds for better health outcomes. Implementation of policies in maternal health, national health insurance and healthcare reforms can influence health outcomes. The key target areas for policy-makers include prevention and detection of diseases; research and development; strengthening healthcare system, surveillance of diseases and associated risk factors. Interventions to address the healthcare problems include improving screening programmes, promotion of healthy lifestyle, public awareness campaigns and periodic medical check-up are critical. There is a need to increase the number of nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals; improve the healthcare staff in rural areas; reduce mortality and fatality rates; introduce vaccine and immunisation programme. Various approaches have been initiated in healthcare sector to improve service delivery, public education and development of human resources.

Online Course in Public health

James Lind Institute (JLI) provides an online program – Master in Public Health helps train more public health professionals. JLI also provides focused programs inMaternal and Child Health, Tropical Medicine, Global Health, Environmental Health and Occupational Health.

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