Deputy Minister Calls For Healthy Lifestyles

Deputy Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Daniel Syme has said capital investments and interventions alone could not guarantee effective health needs of the citizenry. According to him, the numerous ailments and other health-related conditions killing Ghanaians could be avoided if the citizenry adopted and maintained healthy lifestyles. “The heart related diseases, the malaria and diarrhoea cases are preventable,” he said. The Deputy Minister said this while addressing the opening of a three-day meeting of the Tamale Ecclesiastical province and health monitoring teams drawn from the three northern regions at Pusunamongo, near Bolgatanga. The meeting dubbed “Agenda for Right to Good Health (ARIGHT) for the 1992 constitution review” was to review a participatory monitoring framework on the implementation of the Public Health Act (ACT 851), carried out in 90 Catholic Parishes and out-stations in the three northern regions. Mr Syme noted that environmental degradation resulting from annual ritual bush burning, and the polythene bag menace were some challenges that continued to promote unhealthy conditions in communities within the region. He therefore charged residents in the region to avoid open defecation because it had the tendency to pollute the environment and affect human and animal lives. The Deputy Minister indicated that the citizenry had the right to quality health care which was their fundamental right as enshrined in the country’s constitution. According to him, part of governments’ efforts towards the realization of those rights include the construction of health facilities such as CHPS compounds, hospitals, polyclinics, and trained health personnel all geared to meet the health needs of citizens. He charged assemblies in the region to create good working relationships and environment with the Catholic Diocese, by instituting and intensifying bye-laws to make the implementation of the programme successful. Mr Syme conceded that human beings by their nature would resist change, especially if what they were being introduced to did not immediately benefit them, even though in the long term they stood to benefit immensely. He said stakeholders in the health sector should therefore take bold steps and introduce pragmatic human development programmes, irrespective of their consequences.