Health of Ghana’s population has improved in last three decades – Policy
The health of the Ghanaian population has improved in the last three decades, according to a Ghana National Health Policy.
The life expectancy of 57 years in 1990 has increased to 64 years in 2017.
The National Health Policy, the revised edition of January 2020, was copied to the Ghana News Agency at the weekend.
The Health Policy, which was developed under the stewardship of Mr Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Minister of Health is to ensure the healthy lifestyles of all people living in the country.
It has five objectives, which are to strengthen the healthcare delivery system to be resilient, encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyles, and improve the physical environment.
The rest are to improve the economic status of the population and ensure sustainable financing for health.
The Health Policy noted that in 2017, three out of 1,000 pregnant women, who were delivered died compared to six out of the same figure in 1997.
It stated that nine per cent of all babies born in 1990 died before age one and 12 per cent died before age five while in 2017 three per cent of all babies born died before age one and five per cent died before age five.
The Document noted that the improvement had been slow and far from the desired Global targets.
It said the changes represented an average improvement of 50 per cent as against the desired improvement of 75 per cent.
It stated that Ghana had not achieved the desired level of health care because it had not adequately addressed comprehensively all key determinants of health.
The Policy Document said with an aging population, conditions such as musculoskeletal and neurodegenerative disorders were increasing in prevalence.
It continued that the burden of mental health was also increasing with an estimated 10 per cent prevalence for common mental health ailments such as depression and anxiety.
It noted that three per cent of the total Ghanaian population had some form of disability with visual or sight impairment being the most common.
The Document said the complex disease burden was influenced by risk factors such as the physical environment, education, socio-economic situation, population lifestyles, and demographic characteristics of the Ghanaian population.
It continued that historically, the major health problems affecting Ghana had been primarily communicable, maternal, perinatal, and nutritional diseases.
It said maternal and neonatal health conditions remain a challenge, especially in rural areas and amongst poor women.
The Policy Document said non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, stroke, cancers, diabetes, eye disorders, oral health conditions were also increasing in prevalence.