The Health Ministry has emphasised the need for stronger partnerships with the private sector in order to strengthen health technologies and infrastructure. This is to ensure adequate and timely access to medicines and establish a reliable health-financing mechanism.
Speaking at the West Africa Pharma Healthcare Exhibition’s second edition, Alhani Mahama Asei Seini – Ghana’s Deputy Health Minister, highlighted the country’s success in managing the COVID-19 outbreak and recognised the contributions of private sector players such as West Africa Pharma & Healthcare. Government seeks to work collaboratively with stakeholders from the private sector toward achieving universal health coverage (UHC).
Ghana was the first sub-Saharan African nation to introduce a tax-funded National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), in 2003, as part of its commitment to achieving UHC by 2030. The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) strategy, launched in 2021, is aimed at informing the selection and procurement of all health technologies required with highly constrained budgets, as commonly found in low-resource settings.
Approximately 100 manufacturers and exporters from India, Turkey, Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana, France, USA and the UK are participating in this year’s West Africa Pharma Healthcare Exhibition, including over 70 Indian companies. Close to 4,000 visitors are anticipated, with the event expected to improve Ghana’s friendship and business cooperation with India in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sector.
Sugandh Rajaram, Indian High Commissioner to Ghana, acknowledged the high importance Indian businesses place on the Ghanaian market.
The High Commissioner said: “India has consistently been a key partner in the Ghanaian PHARMA and health sector. Over the last 6 to 7 months, many Indians and businesses have been looking to engage their Ghanaian counterparts and forge better synergies; and also to take advantage of the Africa continental free trade agreement”.
Government stands ready to support businesses amid the ongoing Africa continental free trade agreement. The Ministry of Health applauded the conference’s objectives and mission, aimed at building a resilient healthcare system in the West Africa sub-region using modern health technology and collaborative partnerships.
The event also saw participation by several associations in Ghana: including the Private Health Facilities Association of Ghana (PHFAoG), Pharmaceutical Importers and Wholesalers Association of Ghana (PlWA), Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH), Federation of African Medical Equipment Disposables and Devices Manufacturers and Suppliers (FOAMEDDMS), Association of Health Service Administrators of Ghana (AHSAG), Sman Scale Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of Ghana (SSPMAG), Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA), African Chamber of Youth Development and others.
The presence of these associations and stakeholders serves to underscore the importance of collaboration between government and the private sector in achieving universal health coverage. Ghana has rapidly evolved its healthcare sector, investing heavily in infrastructure expansion and building district and regional hospitals to bring services closer to the people. Government has also launched several initiatives to widen access to healthcare, such as the subsidised National Health Insurance Scheme that aims to provide finances which allow access to quality healthcare for residents in Ghana.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on Ghana’s healthcare system. However, due to the swift, proactive and bold response of government, Ghana has been successful in managing the outbreak; thus garnering commendations from global health institutions like the World Health Organisation (WHO).