The First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has advocated the need for Ghana to shift its focus from curative healthcare to preventive healthcare.
She believes there are enormous benefits for the individual and the nation when the country emphasises preventive healthcare.
“We have to shift the focus of health care from treating sickness to maintaining wellness and good health. As we are aware, each year, millions of people die of preventable deaths. The truth is there are lot more health gains we can make, by preaching and practicing preventive healthcare,” she said.
Speaking at the commissioning and handing over of the renovated Ussher Polyclinic and Jamestown Maternity Theatre on Tuesday, Mrs Akufo-Addo said that the old proverb, “Prevention is better than cure”, still rings true today.
According to her, the move will improve the quality of life, adding that “many diseases would be caught early, making treatment more manageable and Ghana would record higher productivity and efficiency at work.”
“Regular screenings can also save individuals and the nation from future crippling medical costs,” she added.
Eat balanced diet
“A major cornerstone of preventive healthcare is the food we eat. We should all endeavour to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. I encourage all Ghanaians to eat and feed their children with nutritious local foods. Let’s eat more fruits when they are in season and encourage households to plant their own vegetables and other foods,” she advised.
She added: “We should also stay fit both, physically and mentally, and go for regular health checks. I encourage women to go for cervical and breast cancer testing and know their HIV status.
“Every mother must ensure her children have all the necessary vaccinations. I also encourage our men to go for regular check-ups. Treating a full-blown illness is more costly financially and emotionally than prevention or early treatment.”
Call for partnership
Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo commended GCB Bank for its efforts, and urged corporate institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to partner the government to deliver the best of social amenities to the populace.
She said that while it may be convenient for the populace to sit back and expect government to deliver it all, the reality requires all, especially corporate institutions, to chip in their quota.
“Our expectation is that the renovated and refurbished Ussher Polyclinic and the James Town Maternity Theatre will ease the pressure on other health facilities in the area such as the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital and the Princess Marie-Louise Children’s Hospital,” the First Lady said.
As a way of showing The Rebecca Foundation’s support of GCB Bank’s social responsibility initiative, Mrs Akufo-Addo announced the donation of some health equipment to the Ussher Polyclinic and Jamestown Maternity Theatre.
In his contribution, the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Nii Adjei Sowah, said the facility will go a long way to ameliorate the health delivery challenges of the community.
He advised personnel of the hospital to ensure the longevity of the newly installed medical equipment.
The occasion was also used to out-door the Odododiodioo constituency’s newly allocated ambulance, provided for under the “One constituency one ambulance” programme.
Before the facelift
Prior to GCB Bank’s corporate social intervention, the Ussher Polyclinic leaked badly anytime it rained. The washrooms were inadequate, causing a huge sanitation problem for staff and patients, while exposed electrical wires hung all around, putting both patients and staff of the clinic at risk.
Several cases had to be referred to Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital or Ridge Hospital because of obsolete equipment to enable treatment.
Following GCB Bank’s intervention, however, additional rooms have been constructed to increase the bed capacity and increase the duration of admissions as well as the provision of modern medical equipment to facilitate the treatment of otherwise referral cases.