Ghanaian, Ivorien health directorates collaborate

The Dormaa Municipal Health Directorate and the Koun-Fao District counterpart in Cote d’Ivoire are collaborating to guarantee easy access to basic health care services among citizens of Ghana and the neighbouring country resident along the border.

Under the deal, Ivorian communities along the border located far away from the national health facilities would enjoy basic health care services from nearby Ghanaian hospitals without any discrimination and vice versa.

To this end, a high powered medical delegation from Koun-Fao led by the District Director of Health Services, Dr. Kouane Gnanyen Ernest, has interacted with staff of Dormaa Municipal Health office and the Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Vincent Oppong Asamoah at Dormaa-Ahenkro.

The occasion was the 2009 annual performance meeting during which the health staff and the municipal health management team took stock of their activities over the past year and designed an action plan towards the achievement of set goals in 2010.

Welcoming the Ivorian delegation, Mr. Asamoah lauded the partnership between the two sister health institutions and pledged the assembly’s support for the initiative.

“Diseases like accidents know no administrative, political, racial, religious or cultural boundaries, hence the need for countries in our sub-region to relax their stance in the event of region-wide health programmes including national immunization days”, he said.

Mr. Asamoah christened the initiative “a dual citizen who has parents in both Ghana and La Cote D’Ivoire and therefore should not encounter any impediment in its growth into maturity”.

The MCE assured the delegation and the municipal health directorate that the assembly would liaise with Koun-Fao district administration to ensure that the health collaboration was spared bureaucracy, which often delayed the speedy movement of goods and services along the borders.

Mr. Asamoah expressed the intention of the assembly to work in concert with the municipal office of the Ghana Education Service to institute award schemes aimed at enticing basic and second cycle students to take keen interest in the study of French to strengthen communication between Ghanaians and Ivorians.

Madam Florence Iddrisah, the Dormaa Municipal Director of Health Service, traced the source of the collaboration to the days of national immunization when both districts had to cover portions of each other’s territory due to difficulty in accessing some communities.

She said the exchange programme had helped the directorate to exceed its target of immunization of children and also enhanced disease surveillance along the border.

Dr. Kouane Ernest, leader of the Ivorian delegation, catalogued similar gains his district had made ever since they agreed to collaborate with their Ghanaian counterpart.

He said the exchange programme had given his outfit the opportunity to learn new ways of doing things by comparing notes with Ghanaian counterparts on similar problems.

Source: GNA

Action on climate change to shape future of poor nations

The Future Climate for Development, an Environmental think-tank group, has called on governments and Nongovernmental Oraganisations (NGOs) to build climate change into their economic paradigms to help low-income countries to manage its impacts and seize new opportunities as the world shifts to a low-carbon economy.

It noted that climate change would reverse years of work reducing poverty in the developing world without strong and urgent action, according to the report.

The report, produced by independent sustainability experts, Forum for the Future (FF) with support from the British Department of International Development (DFID) explores how climate change would transform low-income countries over the next 20 years.

Mr Stephen O’Brien, United Kingdom (UK) International Development Minister, said; “Without urgent action, climate change threatens to undo years of work tackling poverty in the developing world.

“That is why the UK was working assiduously across the globe to help the world’s poorest people prepare for the potentially devastating effects of climate change and shift to clean technologies that are so vital to a stable and successful future for us all,” he said.

Mr Peter Madden, Chief Executive of FF, said the report would act as an important tool to assist poor countries to plan for an uncertain future and underlines “our need to build climate change into everything we do”.

He said climate change and development should be seen as complementary and not competing issues.

Mr Madden said by placing climate change at the forefront of development thinking “we would not only help the world’s poorest to avoid serious risks but we could also help them to seize new opportunities to create better lives for themselves”.

He said development aid should be much more climate change resilient.

The Future Climate for Development advocated that low-income countries looks for win-win opportunities, which address climate change and tackle development goals like reducing poverty and improving health and education.

For example, it called for investment in efficient renewable energy for energy security, promote low-carbon transport for less congestion and pollution and low-input agriculture to boost food security.

It argues that aid should not be blind to climate change, ignoring measures to help countries adapt to its impacts and promote high-carbon development.

Climate change would transform countries and reshape the global economic and political landscape, it says, and this must be factored into development decisions to ensure they continue to yield benefits in the long-term.

The report was designed to be a practical tool to assist governments, Civil Society Organisations, NGOs, businesses and policy-makers in developed and developing countries “future proof” their strategies and plan for a range of possible outcomes.

It examines key issues, which would affect low-income countries over the next 20 years and explore how these may play out in four plausible scenarios for the world of 2030.

The scenarios highlights the need to be prepared for radical changes and possible challenges, for instance, shortages of food and natural resources and climate change impacts could lead many nations to question the Western model of democracy.

In addition, once unthinkable population control measures are introduced as a policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with conflict over water and scarce resources escalating and come to dominate international relations.

It notes that development agencies would need to reappraise their strategies, for example, to promote subsistence farming and build more climate resilience than intensive agriculture, disaster response becoming part of long-term development planning and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) no longer being used as primary measure of success in all countries.

The scenarios were the result of a year-long project that studied how low-income nations might develop over the next 20 years and was undertaken by over 100 experts from around the world including development professionals, government officials and independent thinkers.

It dwelt on reversal of fortunes, age of opportunity, coping alone and the greater good.

Source: GNA

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