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Update on Agenda 111 hospitals project is timely

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Agenda 111 hospital, Ghana Health Service, Newscenta, Ministry of Health, Ghana, Health facilities,
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Mr Ken Ofori-Attah, Minister of Finance has disclosed that construction work has commenced and at various stages of completion in 87 out of the 111 sites earmarked for the Agenda 111 project.

He said, “with the majority of the contractors at various sites, we are well on course to bridge the health inequality gap and strengthen the health system nationwide.”

Mr Ofori-Attah made this known when he delivered the Mid-Year Review Budget in Parliament yesterday.

He said other health infrastructure projects, including the construction of one district hospital and five polyclinics in Western Region, the expansion and equipping of four selected facilities at Aburi and equipping of Upper East (Bolgatanga) Regional Hospital, Phase II, are expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The Finance Minister said the timely intervention by the Government during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic preserved the lives and livelihood of Ghanaians.

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Inadequate health facilities, long distances to reach them, lack of effective and efficient transportation systems remain barriers to access healthcare in Ghana.

It is shocking that 88 district in the country do not have district hospitals.

To address this injustice, the government decided to build 111 hospitals across the country.

The project involves the construction of 100-bed 101 District Hospitals, 160-bed six Regional Hospitals in newly created regions, one Regional Hospital in the Western Region, 90 bed Psychiatric Hospitals in Kumasi and Tamale, Rehabilitation of Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital in Sekondi and the Redevelopment of the Accra Psychiatric Hospital.

The Regional breakdown of district hospitals are; Ashanti-10, Volta-9, Eastern-8, Greater Accra-7, Upper East-7, Oti-5, Upper West-5, Bono-5, Western North-5, Savanna-3, Bono East-2 and North East- 2.

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All hospitals shall have a compliment of staff accommodation.

The huge investment into the healthcare sector is to address the uneven distribution of healthcare infrastructure and also make Ghana the centre of excellence in healthcare delivery in the sub region.

Each of the hospitals would be built at the cost of $12.8 million and another $4.8 million would be spent to equip them bringing the total cost of each of the hospitals to $17.60 million

On Tuesday, August 17, 2021 President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the commencement of the construction of the Trede District Hospital in the Atwima Kwanwoma district of the Ashanti Region.

It is estimated that 25,000 people will be employed during the design and construction phase of the 111 hospital providing direct jobs to architects, masons, carpenters and other construction workers in the country.

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Once completed, about 20,000 health professionals including doctors, specialists, nurses and other allied health workers will be employed thus reducing the unemployment rate in the country.

The District Hospitals Under the Agenda 111 programme presents an unparalleled opportunity to transform the country’s health care system creating a new standard on the continent.

The objective of this project as envisioned by the President is to ensure that Ghanaians in every district and region in the country have access to quality healthcare services.

The proposed project will boost the provision of healthcare infrastructure in line with the government’s commitment to ensuring universal health care to all citizens and attainment of United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3).
It will further be a fulfillment of the government’s policy of a hospital in each district and region and improve the geographical coverage of healthcare delivery in the country, as well as offer improved access to healthcare for all Ghanaians.

In the process, the outcome will also come with a model of accelerated construction of health facilities developed for future health projects.

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On completion, this venture will be the largest investment in healthcare infrastructure in the country since independence.

Never before in the annals of this country’s health infrastructure development has universal access to good and affordable healthcare been so strategically envisioned.

 

 

 

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Health

Measles, Polio and other childhood vaccines dispatched to regions

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Childhood vaccines, Newscenta, Polio, Measles, Ministry of Health, Regions,

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) have received the first consignment of Measles vaccines, Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccines and Oral Polio Vaccines.

The Ministry of Information in a statement said distribution to various regions and facilities was underway.

It noted that more vaccines are expected in Ghana in the coming weeks from multiple sources.

“More vaccines expected in Ghana in the coming weeks from multiple sources,” the Information Ministry added.

It shared pictures of the GHS receiving the vaccines at the airport noting that they have already begun distributing them to various regions and facilities.

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The ministry also shared photos of regional cold vans picking their consignments of the Measles, BCG and Oral Polio vaccines received and its accompanying logistics at the National Cold Room in Accra.

Ghana ran out of essential BCG and OPV vaccines as a result of the Ministry of Health’s failure to secure procurement of these vaccines since the year began.

The BCG vaccine is primarily needed to prevent the occurrence of tuberculosis in babies, while the OPV is to prevent polio infections

Other essential vaccines to prevent diseases such as measles, whooping cough, etc. are also in short supply.

Answering to parliament on the shortages, Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman Manu said that more than $6 million has been paid to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to deliver baby vaccines.

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According to him, the government expects the shortage to end in the next three weeks when all the vaccines are delivered.

Whilst urging the Legislators to approve funds needed for vaccines, he assured that shortages will not reoccur

“The assurance I will give and I can give for the first time in the Chamber is that this will not happen again and I will advise that you help me in my advocacy to get adequate funding for vaccines even the health insurance budget,” he appealed.

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No measles deaths in 20yrs, vaccines arriving soon  

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Vaccines, Newscenta, measles, BCG, polio, immunisation,

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, has assured parents of children who are yet to receive their scheduled vaccines due to the vaccine shortage currently being experienced in the country that the country will take delivery of these vaccines in the next few weeks.

He gave this assurance at an emergency press briefing organised to address the raging issue which has seen many worried parents moving from facility to facility in a desperate search for the crucial vaccines.

The Minister in his address stated that the nation is currently facing a shortage of some vaccines.

He said, “it is true we have had some vaccine shortages in the country since the last quarter of 2022. The vaccines in short supply are BCG, Measles-Rubella (MR), and Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV). This shortage is nationwide.”

Agyemang-Manu however assured that  “the Ministry of Health has been making efforts to ensure we secure adequate stocks of vaccines despite this global challenge.”

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He went further to state that, “we have made all necessary efforts to ensure that despite these challenges we secure adequate stocks within the next few weeks.”

He disclosed that the country has not recorded deaths caused by measles outbreak in parts of the country.

The Health Minister indicated that there had been no recorded measles-related deaths in the country in the last 20 years, even though there have been sporadic outbreaks.

He further indicated that besides the shortage of vaccines, there had been a global decline in vaccinations with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in late 2019.

He said, “the recent shortage in vaccines for measles, as regrettable as it is, is symptomatic of the steady global decline in measles vaccination since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic.”

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Agyemang-Manu however assures the citizenry that the nation’s vaccination coverage remains robust, with immunization performance coverage being among the best in the world.

According to him, “in 2021 we recorded 95% [vaccine] coverage.”

In recent months there has been a desperate scramble among worried parents of toddlers over the apparent shortage of vaccines for the six childhood killer diseases in the nation’s pharmacies and hospitals.

This coupled with an outbreak of the measles-rubella virus has left parents worrying about the safety of their children.

 

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Ghana: Zipline delivers 14.8m lifesaving medical products

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Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

Zipline, the world’s first and only national-scale drone delivery service has delivered some 14.8 million (14,809,463) units of lifesaving medical, vaccines and blood products to health facilities in Ghana as at the end of 2022

309,000 delivery flights

These items were delivered through 309,000 separate delivery flights.

4.4m units delivered

The total units delivered amounted to 4.4 million.

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8.3m doses of childhood vaccines

Childhood vaccines top the list with the delivery of 8.3 million doses.

2.05m doses of COVID-19 vaccines

It is followed by COVID-19 vaccines which recorded 2.05 million doses.

48,588 doses of malaria vaccines

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The company delivered 48,588 doses of malaria vaccines during the period

10,875 pints of blood

Some 10,875 blood units were also delivered during the period.

Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

6 Zipline distribution centers

The six  Zipline distribution centers delivers lifesaving medical, vaccines and blood products to over 2,500 health facilities.

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Zipline introduced in April 2019

Ghana integrated Zipline’s medical drone delivery service into its health supply chain in April 2019 with an initial support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the UPS Foundation and other partners.

Instant access to health commodities

Zipline enables instant access to hundreds of health commodities for thousands of health facilities across the country.

Autonomous drones

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This marked the first time in history that autonomous drones have been used to make regular long-range deliveries into densely populated urban areas.

Zipline reaches half the population

Zipline’s current network in Ghana can reach up to half the population.

Life-saving care

All too often, people requiring life-saving care do not get the medicine they need when they need it.

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Reduce medical waste

To increase access and reduce medical waste, key stock of blood products, vaccines, and life-saving medications are stored at Zipline’s base for just-in-time delivery.

Health workers place orders

Health workers place orders by text message or call and promptly receive their deliveries in 30 minutes on average.

Drones deliver the orders

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The drones take off from and land at Zipline’s base, requiring no additional infrastructure or manpower at the clinics they serve.

Each drone can carry 1.8 kilos of cargo

The drones fly autonomously and can carry 1.8 kilos of cargo, cruising at 110km an hour, and have a round trip range of 160km—even in high-speed winds and rain.

How Zipline works

Each week, a single Zipline distribution centre – a combination of medical fulfilment warehouse and drone airport – is capable of the on-demand delivery of more than two tonnes of temperature-controlled medicine to any point across an almost 8,000 square mile service area.

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Zipline, drones, Newscenta, 14.8m deliveries, 2022, medical products,

30 to 45 minutes deliveries

Each aircraft can fly 100 miles round trip, in strong winds and rain, day or night, to make on-demand deliveries in 30 to 45 minutes on average.

Zipline’s drones have flown more than five million autonomous miles to deliver more than 1.5 million doses of vaccines, units of blood, and critical and life-saving medications to more than a thousand health facilities serving more than 25 million people across three countries.

Zipline in United States

In the United States, Zipline has partnered with a leading healthcare system, Novant Health, on the country’s first drone logistics operation by a hospital system for pandemic response.

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To date, Novant Health has utilised Zipline to make contactless drone distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to frontline medical teams around Charlotte, North Carolina.

Zipline operating in Kaduna and Cross River States in Nigeria

Zipline recently commenced medical delivery services in Kaduna and Cross River States in Nigeria as its footprint grows across Africa.

Set to begin commercial operations in Côte D’Ivoire and Kenya

The company is set to begin commercial operations in Côte D’Ivoire and Kenya this week bringing to five countries in Africa to have adopted the technology.

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