By Maxwell Obiri-Yeboah
The Minister for Health (MoH), Mr. Kwaku Agyemang Manu, has announced that the Ministry of Finance has given him clearance to recruit 34,000 health professionals before December this year.
This is to push the number of health professionals recruited since he assumed office in 2017 to 54,000 to augment the personnel needed to tackle the health sector nationwide.
He expressed that the already 20,000 health professionals recruited in 2017 and 2018 have since been on the field rendering their services to the nation in the various sectors.
Speaking at a press conference organised by the MoH in Accra yesterday, the Minister said the number of health professionals to be recruited cuts across all professions in the health sector, including doctors, pharmacists, allied health administrators, non-mechanised staff, and others to assist them in delivering their services in the sector.
He said these personnel comprise graduates from both public and private institutions in the country.
Mr. Agyemang Manu further stated that there was an e-platform for the recruitment exercise, which would ensure that the details of applicant are captured on a server, in order to speed up the entire process.
He observed that some workers in the Ministry have been working for over eight years as temporary staff since he took office in 2017.
He described the situation as an unfortunate one, and stated the need to upgrade their status through this new mandate from the Finance Ministry.
“2019 alone that is where we got the highest; about 34,000. As we stand here, the 34,000 that were given to us this year, about three or four thousand are to start from July; some are to start work next week, others are looking for accommodation to work, and that is why we are saying that by the close of the year, when we have finished the entire exercise, we have recruited 54,000 plus, from January 2017 to December 2019. So it’s a process that has not been fully completed. We are working to interview and post them,” the Minister emphasised.
He continued that Ghana has successfully rolled out a new logistics managementinformation system which would bring better management of health care supplies nationwide. He said that it would digitize the entire Ghanaian health sector when it is fully operational.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr. Anthony Nsiah Asare, also addressed some concerns regarding the malaria vaccination programme being rolled out in the Bono Region and other parts of the country.
It would be recalled that for a couple of weeks now, there have been several videos coming from anti-immunisation campaigners outside the country, circulating on social media, where Ghanaians are being asked to desist from being used as ‘test apparatuses’in the Malaria Immunisation Programme, which is ongoing, to reduce deaths-related malaria in children.
According to the videos, the vaccination is likely to render the children barren or cause a deformity within their system after undergoing the treatment.
But, Dr. Asare said that Ghanaians should ignore these non-existent claims evolving around the programme, for it is the way forward to reducing deaths associated with malaria fever in the country.
He expressed optimism that the medicines have been tested over hundred years ago, and were tested about thirty years ago on American soldiers who were sent to areas where malaria is imminent, like some parts of Asia and Africa.
He also said some of the clinical trials of this programme were done in 2006, hence, the news is misleading and the drugs have been tested and approved by the Ministry.
“It is very unfortunate that we have been talking about this Malaria Vaccination Programme and people are referring to some things. (The woman in the video) She was not very much informed.”