WHO convenes regional policy dialogue on investment of health workforce

Accra, Dec. 01, GNA – The World Health Organization (WHO) and partners have convened a regional policy dialogue on investment and protection of health and care workers in Africa.

The dialogue is intended to help address the looming shortages of a health workforce and the associated challenges of investment.

 

The aim of the dialogue is to bring together members states, investors and partners to draw on lessons learned to determine key principles and opportunities for health workforce investment principles and opportunities.

It will explore the role of the sub-regional bodies in strengthening health workforce investments and protecting health and care workers.

This was contained in a statement from the office of WHO, Ghana and copied to the Ghana News Agency.

Speaking at the opening of the dialogue in Accra, Dr Francis Kasolo, the WHO Representative to Ghana, noted that investing in the health workforce would expand Universal Health Coverage, strengthen health security, equity, youth, and women’s economic empowerment. 

He called for urgent action by stakeholders to accelerate investment in the health workforce.

“Countries should increase health prioritisation in the public budget to increase investment in health workforce.”

“Donors and partners can and should also play a key role in strengthening investments in the health workforce,” he said.

Dr Francis Kasolo called for investment in occupational health and safety and social protection of health and care workers to improve efficiency and reduce health workforce migration out of Africa. 

“Countries will have to secure national or sub-national mechanisms for purchasing and supplying personal protective equipment. They must take steps to prevent and manage health workers’ stress and burnout, whilst ensuring that all health workers have access to a health insurance,” he said.

Alhaji Mahama Asei Seini, the Deputy Minister of Health, called for a paradigm shift in investing better and smarter in Africa’s health workforce to position the continent on the path to achieving universal health coverage.

“There can be no better time to invest in health workforce. Investments in health workforce will protect vulnerable populations from the shocks of current crises and improve health access,” he said.

The regional dialogue brought together 775 participants from 26 countries, regional and sub-regional economic communities, including the African Union, Economic Community of West African States, West African Economic and Monetary Union, Southern African Development Community and Economic, Monetary Community of Central Africa and other partners to share experiences on the health workforce investment and protection strategies implemented since 2018.

Source: Ghana News Agency

AstraZeneca to expand hypertension control programme in Africa

Accra, Dec. 01, GNA – AstraZeneca, a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company, says it will expand its Healthy Heart Africa (HHA) Programme to 10 new countries from 2023.

The HHA is AstraZeneca’s innovative programme committed to tackling hypertension (high blood pressure) and the increasing burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in Africa.

The programme is currently operational in nine countries.

A news brief released by the company said the Programme would be expanded to Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, The Gambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

It said the expansion would contribute to HHA’s ambition to reach 10 million people with elevated blood pressure across Africa by 2025.

“This is in partnership with the Africa Christian Health Associations Platform (ACHAP) and PATH, who will implement and manage the programme expansion to five countries each over the next two years,” it said. “Existing HHA programmes will continue in Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Uganda, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Rwanda, and Nigeria, with a range of implementing partners, including ACHAP and Path.”

The company said the HHA contributed to strengthening health systems by working in partnership with local stakeholders to provide services, such as free blood pressure screening, creating education and awareness about cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors, and providing blood pressure screening equipment and training healthcare workers on guidelines to improve the quality of care.

It said since 2014, the Programme had conducted more than 30.5 million blood pressure screenings and trained more than 9,900 healthcare workers.

Commenting on the planned expansion, Mr Ashling Mulvaney, Vice President, Global Sustainability, Access to Healthcare, AstraZeneca said the HHA had made significant impact in supporting cardiovascular healthcare on the continent.

“We believe in leveraging the power of partnerships to provide equitable and affordable access to life-changing treatments for people, especially in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). This expansion will increase our contribution to halting and reversing the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases in Africa,” he said.

Nkatha Njeru, Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer, ACHAP said: “The approach of HHA to leverage investments in other areas of health to reach people living with co – and multi-morbidities is a practical example of what is needed going forward in global health.”

The World Heart Federation states that in 2019, Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for one million deaths from cardiovascular disease or 5.4 per cent of all CVD-related deaths worldwide and 13 per cent of all deaths in Africa.

Hypertension, commonly known as high blood pressure, is the most important modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.

Risk factors are conditions that increase your risk of developing a disease. Risk factors are either modifiable, meaning you can take measures to change them, or non-modifiable, which means they cannot be changed.

The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that the African region has the highest prevalence of hypertension at 27 per cent, demonstrating the need for prevention and management interventions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

2022 World Cup: Uruguay clash is a difficult game for us – Ghana coach Otto Addo

Ghana coach, Otto Addo has said their final group game against Uruguay will be a difficult encounter.

The Black Stars will wrap up their Group H games against the South Americans side on Friday at the Al Janoub Stadium.

Ghana, who sit 2nd with three points will hope for a draw or a win to guarantee their place in the last 16 at the ongoing Mundial.

Ahead of the game, Addo speaking at a press conference said Uruguay, who need a win desperately have a strong side and will make the game difficult for his side.

“Uruguay have a strong football tradition and we all know they have a strong squad,” Addo said on Thursday ahead of the game.

“They [Uruguay] have good players in all departments and it is going to be a difficult match for us,” he added.

The game has been scheduled to kick off at 15:00GMT.

Ghana opened their campaign with a defeat against Portugal at the 974 Stadium before picking up a 3-2 win against South Korea at the Education City Stadium.

Source: Modern Ghana

2022 World Cup: I am confident of a win against Uruguay – Otto Addo

Ghana coach, Otto Addo has assured that his side will emerge as winners against Uruguay on Friday.

The West African country, who sit 2nd with three points in Group H will wrap up their group phase games against the two-time world champions at the Al Janoub Stadium.

The Black Stars, who are making their fourth appearance at the global showpiece need a draw or a win to progress to the last 16 of the tournament.

Speaking at the press conference on Thursday, the Borussia Dortmund talent coach reiterated that the South Americans will attack them but he remain confident of a win.

According to him, they will exploit the gaps and capitalize on them.

“They have to win and I don’t think they have a choice, and I know they will attack and so we will prepare for everything,” Addo said.

“We will make use of the gaps and I know it will be a tough game but I am confident of a win,” he added.

Source: Modern Ghana