Established in 1996 as part of efforts to reform healthcare delivery in the country, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) exists to oversee the administration of health services. Currently, GHS is the biggest beneficiary of UNFPA support to the Government of Ghana, given its key role in facilitating Sexual & Reproductive Health activities and programmes.
Obstetric Fistula (OF) is a childbirth injury that affects the ability of women and girls to pass urine and faeces following an abnormal connection between the rectum and vagina. It results in low self-esteem and affects the dignity of its patients. Over the years, UNFPA has supported GHS in the prevention and repair of OF by facilitating training for surgeons, providing medical equipment for surgeries and subsidising cost of treatment, among others.
In a courtesy call on the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye yesterday, the UNFPA Ghana Rep a.i., Mr. Barnabas Yisa noted that, ‘Fistula is a medical condition deserving of critical attention.’ He pledged his desire to support Ghana Health Service to renovate the Tamale Fistula Centre so that it could be functional and serve the purpose of repairing fistula surgeries. This courtesy visit followed the mission of the UNFPA Ghana Rep a.i. to Tamale, where he interacted with the Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. John Bertson Eleeza and his team.
Also, the UNFPA Ghana Rep a.i. utilized the courtesy visit to commend Ghana for attaining the status of a lower-middle income country and Ghana Health Service for leading the response against the COVID-19 pandemic and other public health issues affecting Ghana. In addition, the UNFPA Rep a.i. called the attention of Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye on the need for Ghana to make investments in the procurement of family planning commodities in line with the ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ Agenda.
Dr. Patrick Kuma-Aboagye assured UNFPA of the willingness of the Government to assume responsibility for addressing public health issues. He also appreciated UNFPA for the support the agency provides in promoting the uptake of family planning, ending obstetric fistula and technical assistance for the conduct of Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) surveys.
The UNFPA Ghana Rep a.i. was of the view that, ‘even if nothing was achieved at all, efforts must be made to increase impact towards eliminating fistula’ through the repair of surgeries, continuous advocacy to end child marriage and improving skilled birth delivery.
Source: UNFPA Ghana’s website