Nana Kobena Nketsiah V, the Paramount Chief of Essikado has called for robust local drug manufacturing companies to fill the gaps in the global supply chain after the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the hikes in prices of medicals, delays in the supply chain coupled with other factors required that government’s One District One Factory gave birth to more local manufacturers to produce more medical consumables that were affordable to everyone in society.
He gave an example of how a heart management drug which sold at GHS 44 now sold for GHS 399 and queried how an average home could buy such commodities to save lives.
“So, you see that our pharmaceutical companies, health managers and administrators have to work and strategize to ensure that uninterrupted supply of high-quality consumables to all health facilities was achieved.”
Nana Kobena Nketsiah V was speaking at the 45th Annual Conference of the Health Services Administrators of Ghana (HSAG) in Takoradi, on the theme: “Sustainable Supply of Health Commodities for Universal Health Coverage; The Role of HSAG.
“So, I plead with you in your deliberations to carefully propose solutions to these challenges confronting the supply chain particularly the need to generate some of these consumables internally.”
Dr. Ebo Hammond, Director, Health Administration and Support Services Division of the Ghana Health Service described the occasion as spectacular since funding for programmes in the health sector had dwindled drastically.
He also described the theme as prompt in respect of the supply chain challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and prayed that as a key manager of the health sector, they deliberated on the thematic areas and come out with some key resolutions that would help in addressing the challenges.
Dr. Hammond also encouraged the practitioners to use systems such as the integrated emergency management information among others to spearhead successful implementation of these supply chain systems.
He prayed that the scientific sessions would focus on some of the key challenges and measures that would put in place to change the dynamics, adding, ” I’m also aware that escalating prices for medicines, and consumer goods in recent times make it extremely difficult for managers of our health facilities to maintain higher levels of consumables.”
Dr Joseph Tambil, Medical Director of the Effia-Nkwanta Government Hospital, said the Health Administrator formed a critical part in the health delivery system.
“We have also thought highly of you as Medical Superintendent Group and your midfielder role…We urge the conference to come up with policy direction on how together we can improve supplies and better-quality health delivery,” he said.
Mr. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah Western Regional Minister said one of the most dreaded legacies of COVID-19 had been the destruction in the global supply chain occasioned by production bottlenecks.
He said the government, to ensure a more efficient and responsive Supply Chain Management System, interventions have been introduced adding, Government is committed to supporting the full implementation of this programme to realize its full objectives.
He said it was the firm belief of the government that the platform would provide lasting solutions to the numerous problems confronting public procurement and supply chain systems.
The Minister said the government was not only oblivious of the enormous pressure on health facilities to perform at best levels despite severe supply chain challenges and would continue to engage particularly the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, in improving the commodity supply situation in the health facilities.
The government’s drive towards improving the health status and hence the general well-being of the people have been demonstrated by its commitment to the Universal Health Coverage by developing and putting into Canada’s roadmap for attaining universal health coverage 2020 to 2028.
The Minister reported on how the government was refurbishing the Effia -Nkwanta Regional Hospital, the construction of a new Regional Hospital and other such infrastructure under agenda 111 to improve quality health care in the country.