Accra, Nov. 05, GNA – Dr DaCosta Aboagye, the Director of the Health Promotion Division of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has encouraged the public to patronise all essential health care services as a right to enhance their wellness.

Dr Aboagye gave the encouragement in Accra during a stakeholder engagement on improving essential services during and post COVID-19 pandemic.

He said essential services, including maternal and childcare, HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria Family Planning, Meningitis, and nutrition care, had been heavily impacted by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic due to wrong public perception, stigma, and the fear of being infected for which reason people shielded away from health facilities.

He called for an intensified collaboration with the media to educate and inform the public about the importance of accessing those services.

Dr Aboagye stated that the access gap created by the COVID-19 pandemic must quickly be addressed to maintain the gains made over the years in improving quality healthcare delivery for Ghanaians.

The media, he said, must provide the public with the right information that would assure them of their safety while accessing the services in the various health facilities.

He assured that the GHS had put in place stringent measures to ensure the safety of all clients and patients in health facilities across the country and reiterated the call on the citizenry to go for the essential services.

Ms Claudette Ahliba Diogo, a representative of the Family Health Division of the GHS, gave an overview of a research by the University of Ghana, on the impact of COVID-19 on the uptake of essential services, which showed a decrease in the acceptance of family planning and antenatal care visits, leading to low records of caesarean section delivery and high records of home births among others.

She said the study also showed a decrease in reproductive health awareness among the populace, however, essential services were found to have been available and opened for access throughout the period in all health facilities across the country.

Ms Diogo said the conclusion of the other two studies, however, showed that there were regional variations in the uptake and type of service, but despite the initial disruptions, Ghana was able to maintain essential service delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The situation, she said, was gradually improving, and called for enhanced community engagement and public education to help overcome fears and misconceptions around the COVID-19 vaccines.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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