Health and Development News-Online May & June 2023 Edition

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Our vision is to see to it that health promotion and healthcare delivery are based on peaceful cooperation, an understanding of our growing interdependence and the need for teamwork as well as an appreciation of the imperative for the private corporate sector to be more proactive in enhancing their corporate social responsibility in the health sector to guarantee their own growth and the development of society. Health is not a cost, it is an investment – in economies, in security, in stability, in growth. As the saying goes, the health of a nation is the wealth of the nation.


Our mission is to provide consultancy, advocacy and other services to corporate bodies and institutions, especially those in the private sector to link up the health of the people with their own growth and business development as part of their social responsibility


1. Advocacy for Teamwork for better healthcare delivery and sustainable development.

2. Consultancy Services in Public Health Education & Promotion, Training Programmes for Medical Representatives and Pharmaceutical Sales personnel.

3. Publications Services for Newsletters, Brochures, Magazines, and Books – both hard copies and soft copies.


1. To create a unique and respectable common platform for promoting teamwork and collaboration among medical health professionals, other healthcare professionals and health workers, their clients and stakeholders for better healthcare delivery and for the achievement of Sustain Development Goals (SDGs), with special emphasis on the health-related issues.

2. To publish a unique, free, online monthly publication that provides a common platform for all healthcare professionals, their clients and stakeholders and the public to talk to each other in very simple language.

3. To make this publication easily and freely accessible online to all our target audiences in Ghana, Africa and globally.

4. To facilitate the sharing of ideas, discussion of current trends and coming events and to provide timely information on the availability of medicines, devices, products, goods and services that facilitate healthcare delivery and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

5.To provide caregivers, facilities, training institutions, policy makers, regulatory authorities, healthcare professional associations, manufacturers of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, nutritionals, and herbal medicines a unique and respectable medium to effectively advertise their facilities, products and services to their target clients and stakeholders.

Kindly visit our website at for more details.


Dear Reader and Partner,

We are glad to invite you to enjoy reading this Special May/June Edition of our free monthly online publication called HEALTH & DEVELOPMENT NEWS-ONLINE created for healthcare professionals and their clients, and stakeholders. Since the publication of our maiden edition in April 2021, we have produced free regular monthly editions up till now. We will continue to do so during the rest of 2023 and beyond.

This Edition contains the Special Report on the 1st Annual Health & Development Forum 2023 which was held on 30th March 2023 at the British Council Auditorium. It was a hybrid event with both in-person and online attendees. We are happy to announce that registrations for all who attended were free. The theme of the FORUM was Teamwork for Better Healthcare & Sustainable Development. The objective was to engage Health Professionals in conversations among themselves and with their Stakeholders and Clients on the need for and how to achieve Teamwork for Better Healthcare Delivery and the achievement of the SDGs with special reference to the health-related goals against the backdrop of the two new concepts of “One Health” and “No one is safe until everyone is safe”.

The FORUM will be followed by SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE MEETINGS before the end 2023 to concretize the necessary actions to be taken in order to teach, promote and entrench the concept and practice of teamwork among healthcare professionals for better healthcare delivery and sustainable development. This will enable us to compile a combined report of FORUM 2023 and its ROUND TABLE MEETINGS in a special publication that will highlight appropriate steps to be taken and recommendations to be made to all stakeholders.

WE ARE NOW CALLING FOR PAPERS to be submitted on any of the three aspects of the big question:

- Round Table 1. Whom /When / and Where should we teach teamwork?

- Round Table 2. How can we promote teamwork?

- Round Table 3. How can we entrench teamwork?

Kindly submit your paper as an email attachment in word format, Calibri size 11, double spacing, to not later than 31 August 2023 but the earlier the better. Shortlisted Authors will be notified and their papers may be published in any of our publications with credits to them. Authors may also freely use their material in any other way they wish without any restrictions from us.

At this point we must express our profound

gratitude to His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene and his Foundation for being our Major Sponsors.

Health And Development Consult admires and shares in the usefulness of the vision and programmes of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation (OOTIIF) for the benefit of Asanteman, Ghana, Africa and indeed for mankind. Long may his reign continue. We will continue to highlight the undertakings of OOTIIF in subsequent Editions of this publication regularly for the information and benefit of all our readers globally.

We thank all our Collaborators, Resource Persons, Special Guests, Speakers, Panelists as well as all those who participated in-person and online for making this 1st Annual Health & Development Forum 2023 a real success. We are inviting you all to prepare to register again to join us in these follow-up Specialists Round Table Meetings to complete FORUM 2023.

We thank the following eminent persons for their various statements of support for FORUM 2023: Hon. Minister for Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyemang Manu; Dr. Anarfi Asamoa Baah, Former Deputy Director General of the WHO; Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, Former Director General of the Ghana Health Service; Nana Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Agyei Woahene II, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the OOTIIF and Medical Director of FOCOS Orthopedic Hospital.

Elsewhere in this Edition, we bring you other exciting articles for your reading pleasure, information, and education. We entreat you to share this publication freely with your contacts.

We now invite you to enjoy your publication.

Have an awesome month!

MAY / JUNE 2023 | PAGE 3


We invite caregivers, facilities, training institutions, policymakers, regulatory authorities, health and healthcare professional associations, manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, Nutritionals, and herbal medicines, financial and health insurance companies a unique and respectable medium to effectively advertise your facilities, products and services to your target clients and stakeholders who really matter to your business all at once in a most cost-effective manner.

Kindly design your one-page advert as you deem fit and email it as an attachment to or WhatsApp it to 0244965843. All adverts must be accompanied by full payment by MoMo to 0244965843 or by cheque to the order of HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT CONSULT. Adverts will however continue to be accepted during the year. You can also place several one-page adverts as you may

desire and pay for them accordingly.

Since we started publishing HEALTH & DEVELOPMENT NEWS-ONLINE from April 2021 to date, all the adverts that have been published in all our Editions have been done free of charge and on promotional basis. We now appeal to all our patrons and new advertisers to support us by making small contributions towards adverts as from as from APRIL 2023. Please make just a one-time SINGLE CONTRIBUTION OF 2000 CEDIS for a one-page advert which will be published every month in all the remaining Editions of HEALTH & DEVELOPMENT NEWS-ONLINE during 2023 or published every month as from when it is received. Kindly submit your adverts now as email attachments to together with your payment by momo to 0244965843.

Please don’t delay and don’t be left out!

Report on the Forum Which Took Place on 30th March 2023 MAY / JUNE 2023 | PAGE 5


1. To engage the Experts in conversations with their Stakeholders and Clients on the need for and how to achieve Teamwork for Better Healthcare Delivery and the achievement of the SDGs with special reference to health-related issues.

2. To promote the concept of “One Health” which recognizes that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interconnected. It involves applying a coordinated, collaborative, multidisciplinary, and cross-sectoral approach to address potential or existing risks that originate at the animal-human-ecosystems interface. Regardless of which of the many definitions of One Health is used, the common theme is collaboration across sectors. Collaborating across sectors that have a direct or indirect impact on health involves thinking and working across silos and optimizing resources and efforts while respecting the autonomy of the various sectors.


3. To promote the “No one is safe until everyone is safe ”declaration by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development of the

Council of Europe as a result of its concern about the rapidly evolving Covid-19 pandemic situation in Europe and worldwide. The Committee adopted the “No one is safe until everyone is safe” Declaration on 1 December 2021. The Committee insisted that global equitable distribution is vital in order to protect public health.

4. To follow up with SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE MEETINGS to concretize the necessary actions to be taken to teach, promote and entrench the concept and practice of teamwork among healthcare professionals for better healthcare delivery and sustainable development.

5. To make recommendations for appropriate actions to be taken by Policy Makers, Regulators, Healthcare Professionals, Training Institutions, Clients, and Stakeholders to ensure better healthcare delivery and sustainable development.

6. To disseminate such information and recommendations as widely as possible for the benefit of all in Ghana, Africa and Globally.


working as a team to provide optimal care. The success of the team depends on every member, as even the slightest error can have disastrous consequences. That's why we emphasize the importance of teamwork in

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. It is a pleasure to be here this morning, if for no other reason than the importance of providing healthcare. My dear brother, Pharm. Abraham Gyesie, has been consistently working towards this goal for the past 25 years. Many people are unaware of the collaborative effort required to treat a single patient for example a child. The British Medical Association indicated that it takes 69 professionals

Our health team needs continuous support and nourishment, as some individuals tend to be parochial, focusing solely on their own roles and dismissing the contributions of others. Unfortunately, this is a negative aspect of human nature that we cannot easily change. However, by constantly reminding ourselves that if one team member fails to fulfill their responsibilities, our collective efforts will be in vain, we can foster a spirit of collaboration. This forum serves the purpose of providing this regular dose of sustenance to ensure that we work together effectively.

I am truly delighted to be here today. This is a topic we have discussed for the past 25 years, and it remains relevant. I must

commend Pharm. Abraham Gyesie for his exceptional commitment. He has dedicated his attention to understanding how some individuals can achieve better health outcomes than others. If we continue to play a parochial game, we will not be able to achieve the desired health outcomes for all. So, I want to extend my gratitude to Pharm. Abraham Jessie and urge all healthcare professionals to follow his example.

Abraham, you excel in what you do, and may God bless you for it. However, we must also consider the future, when you may not be as strong to continue this periodic sustenance. Who will carry on this important work? Therefore, I welcome everyone here today. Let us all have a pleasant program, humbly listen, and learn what it takes to build a strong and effective team.

Good morning, and let us enjoy the proceedings.

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Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa


Association, Madam Perpetual. Thank you for your valuable

Representing the honorable Minister for Health today is Dr. Mrs. Jocelyn Azeez, who is doing an excellent job in her role. We appreciate your presence here,

Professor Chairman, Nana Professor Oheneba Boachie-Adjei Woahene II, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II Foundation, The Second Foundation, and President of Focus Orthopedic enter. I dare say he is one of the best orthopedic surgeons the world has ever seen. Thank you, sir, for gracing this occasion with your distinguished presence.

We also recognize that you are wearing two hats today, one for yourself and the other for His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei-Tutu II. You have traveled all the way from Kumasi and arrived last night. We also acknowledge your Executive Director, who is a hardworking and efficient lady. Thank you very much for your dedication and volunteerism.

Now, I would like to acknowledge all my distinguished resource persons, starting from my left. The remarkable Rector of the Ghana College of Pharmacists who is among the most dynamic women in our country's healthcare field. Her contributions are immeasurable.

Next, we have the formidable President of the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge my Chairman, Professor Agyeman Badu-Akosa, who has been with us on this journey since the beginning, like he said, 25 years ago. Our initial efforts involved hosting a similar meeting, which took place at the National Theatre. Professor was the guest speaker at that time and emphasized the importance of working together to combat the HIV and AIDS pandemic. He dispelled fears and encouraged healthcare professionals to dedicate their time and expertise to minimize the impact of the disease. I would like to pay tribute to the late Professor Fred Sai, who chaired that meeting. May he rest in peace. He served as the chair for the committee on Adolescence, Health, and HIV. The consensus reached was that health professionals were not doing enough to promote comfort and address the challenges of HIV. This led to our long journey, starting from that time until today, to discuss and deliberate on the crucial need for teamwork among healthcare professionals in order to enhance healthcare delivery for the benefit of all people. In today's interconnected world, the safety of one is tied to the safety of all. Therefore, our intention is to compile the knowledge gained from our endeavors into a comprehensive publication that will be accessible worldwide. The issues we discuss here are not exclusive to Ghana; they require global action. However, despite the understanding that action is needed, there seems to be a lack of initiative from individuals. This is why we have taken it upon ourselves to emphasize the importance of unity and collaboration.

It's not enough to have

top-notch infrastructure, hospitals, equipment, specialists, and drugs. The harmony among the healthcare workforce is equally crucial. That is why we have chosen the esteemed Nana Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei Woahene II as our patron for this meeting. Nana, a champion in his field, exemplifies the power of teamwork, as demonstrated by his establishment of the Focus Orthopedic Hospital in Ghana. It is a place where you can seek assistance and find solace if needed.

During the launch of the Focus Program, I had the honor of serving as the Master of Ceremonies at the La Palm Hotel. Despite being unable to see his face, his infectious smile exuded hope and inspired all who witnessed it. I urge you to listen to him when you have the opportunity, as his words will resonate with you.

Now, let's introduce our moderator, Dr. Mrs. Martha Gyansa-lutterodt, a recently retired Coordinator of Technical Coordination in the Ministry of Health, showcased her managerial skills and ability to foster teamwork. She has proven herself to be a capable individual who knows how to get things done. We are fortunate to have her as our moderator.

Continuing with our list of esteemed guests, I would like to introduce Naa Okailey Adamfio-Manteau, the Country Manager for Deng Pharmaceuticals, a renowned pharmaceutical manufacturer from Germany. They introduced advanced genetic research and innovative products. Additionally, we have the Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Pharm Kwabena Asante-Offei Esq, another esteemed individual in the field. I want to assure you all that we are in capable hands and our time spent here will be highly valuable, empowering us to continue serving our people to the best of our abilities.

It is essential to recognize that

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Pharm. Abraham Gyesie

this planet is our only home for now, and we must work together to make it a better place. As the saying goes, "We have no other planet, let's take care of the one we have." This concept resonates strongly today. Now, let me introduce myself and explain my purpose for standing before you this morning.

I have been a pharmacist since 1967, dedicating my entire working life to the pharmaceutical marketing sector, primarily in Anglophone West Africa. Throughout the years, I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact when health professionals collaborate to bring relief to suffering patients. Their transformation from despair to happiness and renewed zest for life has left a lasting impression on me. However, I have also witnessed the detrimental effects of animosities and conflicts among practitioners, which lead to duplicated efforts and hinder the delivery of effective care. These untold hardships and the misery they bring are deeply saddening.

Upon retiring from active business, I made a personal commitment to dedicate the rest of my time to championing the cause of teamwork. I firmly believe that without teamwork, progress is impossible. Even if the government invests in expensive drugs, it won't yield significant results without a united effort. Collaboration is key to ensuring the well-being and improved outcomes for our patients.

Without teamwork, drugs will expire while sitting unused in their packages. It is crucial to emphasize that the patient, who includes each one of us, is the central focus. Someone must raise awareness about the essential ingredient of teamwork in bringing relief to our people. I have taken it upon myself to be that voice, as Professor Agyeman Badu-Akosa mentioned, we embarked on this journey together approximately 25 years ago, and now it's time for us to have frank discussions among ourselves.

Let's seize this opportunity to learn, observe, and internalize the importance of working together. We must commit ourselves to the understanding that none of us are safe until we are all safe. It's as simple as that. I extend my gratitude to all of you for being here, as our collective efforts will contribute to creating a better world to live in.

If we work together, respecting one another and acknowledging that everyone brings something valuable to the table, we can create a symphony of unity and harmony. Although some sounds may appeal more to certain individuals based on their mood, it is when all musicians play in harmony that the true beauty of the music emerges. Music is known to have healing powers, highlighting the significance of teamwork.

Let us resolve to teach, promote, and practice teamwork within the healthcare domain for the greater good of our people. This is the purpose of our gathering. Now, let me briefly introduce my organization, Health and Development Consult. When I retired, I wanted to utilize my time more effectively, so I established this organization. Our primary goal is to champion the discourse of teamwork. Additionally, drawing from my experience as a pharmaceutical marketer, I provide business development consulting services to the pharmaceutical industry. I also have a passion for writing, and we produce books on these subjects. However, the ultimate aim is to recognize that everyone has a role to play and a unique talent to contribute, all in the name of improving healthcare and benefiting our fellow human beings.

I invite you to listen attentively, observe keenly, and embrace a commitment in your heart to become a team player. As you grow and develop in your roles, remember to embody the principles of teamwork. Thank you, and let's continue with the program.

Let us embrace humility, seek

support for the challenges we face, and be grateful for the opportunities we have to contribute. Health and Development Consult appeals to all of you to prioritize teamwork over conflicts. Together, we can achieve great things. That's why we are not keeping this knowledge to ourselves alone. All our endeavors will be thoroughly documented and published for the benefit of the global community.

In this supreme fight for teamwork, I express my gratitude to all of you for listening. Enjoy your time and may God bless us all for being here.

Thank you.



- Nana Prof. Oheneba Boachie-Adjei Woahene II

a urologist. This realization led me to assemble a team of experts before embarking on any endeavor. Operating on bones alone wasn't sufficient. I also needed to establish alliances with customs offices to navigate import regulations for medical implants.

To become an effective spine surgeon, I needed a team consisting of an anesthesiologist, a neurosurgeon, nurses, physiotherapists, pharmacists, specialists in infectious disease medicine, pediatrics, gastroenterology, pulmonary care, and ICU. I didn't simply decide to build a hospital; instead, I made frequent visits and partnered with a teaching hospital where I knew I could receive the necessary support for each patient. The hospital had all the required units, including a blood bank.

It seems there is a struggle with the microphone, clothes, bangles, and everything. It is my first time giving a presentation of this nature in such attire. Although I may not be wearing a traditional three-piece suit with a bow anymore, I am grateful that my mind remains the same. I am delighted to be here this morning and be a part of this forum, symposium, or lecture series on teamwork for better healthcare and sustainable development.

I would like to acknowledge our chairman, Professor Agyeman Badu-Akosa, a dear friend whom I have known for many years. The first time I gave a lecture in this hall was in 1998 when I started Focus Hospital. I was conducting exploratory work in Ghana to determine if establishing the hospital was feasible. Professor Agyeman has been supportive throughout these years.

As either a guest lecturer or a helpless participant, we navigate our way through a teaching hospital in college. I want to express my gratitude to Pharm Abraham Gyesie for the invitation. I also want to acknowledge the presence of our esteemed representatives, including the Minister of Health and the Rector of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons. I am proud to be a member of this informative stage, which was inaugurated by President Kufuor in 2003, working alongside Professor Nyame.

The topic of teamwork is highly

relevant, and we all know that teamwork originated in the Garden of Eden. When God saw that Adam alone was not enough, He gave him Eve, establishing the first team in the world. When I arrived in the United States at the age of 21, I was overwhelmed by the attractions and potential distractions. However, I had a mission to become an outstanding surgeon and return to help my people. Recognizing the challenges and temptations, I invited my girlfriend, Hilda, to join me. She was only 18 at the time. Next year will mark 50 years of our journey together.

In our organization, we have two MDs: myself as the medical director and Hilda as the managing director. I commend the organizers for this comprehensive forum. Healthcare is not a one-stop shop, especially when it comes to specialty fields. As our previous speakers have highlighted, healthcare is interconnected and comprehensive, much like the human body itself.

Now, let's take a moment to define teamwork. It involves collaboration and interdependence, extending beyond doctors to include private corporate entities, institutions, agencies, NGOs, public institutions, and regulatory healthcare units. I recall when I was establishing Focus Hospital, I encountered a situation where I, as a qualified surgeon, could perform any operation, but it wasn't enough. For example, during a surgery, if I accidentally damaged the ureter, I couldn't fix it as I wasn't

I vividly remember the first patient who tested this approach—my mother-in-law. She had fractured her hip, and I needed to confirm the diagnosis with an X-ray. Transporting her to the hospital required an ambulance, and thus, the team came into play. I had to organize transportation from her house to Kumasi, get an X-ray, and determine that she needed surgery. However, the surgery couldn't be performed in Kumasi, so I arranged a charter flight to bring her to Accra. The day before the surgery, I spent the entire night gathering the team members I needed—radiologists, lab technicians, and personnel from various departments. I even had to arrange for the implant, which had to be flown in from New York on a Delta flight.

By the time we inserted the hip implant into her fractured joint, I had consulted with around 35 individuals and spent the whole night working for one patient. We knew that a broken hip in an elderly patient carries a 50% mortality risk, so it was either saving her or losing her. Fortunately, she survived the surgery and remained with us for another 20 years before saying her final goodbye.

The cost of such an endeavor is substantial, including the expenses involved in bringing the implant from New York since we lack a manufacturing system here.

And that's an important aspect we must consider. How can we manage all this work when we have a College of Engineering but can't manufacture the screws needed for surgeries? We should have the capability to produce pedicle screws,

MAY / JUNE 2023 | PAGE 9

for instance, because a single screw can cost $800, and a patient may require around 20 of them for spinal surgery. So relying on the National Health Insurance (NHIS) is not feasible. Forget about it. You might only receive basic medications like paracetamol after undergoing such a surgery. The NHIS covers basic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, malaria, and pneumonia, but when it comes to complex diseases, it doesn't discriminate based on your financial status. Even a girl from a remote village can develop an eye tumor.

I remember when I visited one of my villages after becoming chief. I encountered a young girl with a patch on her face, experiencing excruciating pain. I inquired about her condition and where they were taking her for diagnosis. They suspected an optic nerve tumor or some issue with her eye. It was clear that the local resources couldn't handle this situation, and the girl, being only 14 years old, was in desperate need of proper care. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) wouldn't cover the expenses. Even the bandage alone wouldn't be covered. So I decided to bring her and her family to stay at the guest house in Focus Hospital.

Once they arrived, I arranged for her to be seen at Focus Hospital. After some initial assessments, it was determined that she needed to go to Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. I consulted with a neuro-ophthalmologist, who confirmed that she had an eye tumor that required treatment. However, the cost was not covered by her NHIS card, nor did her NHIS status make a difference. The NHIS only covers 2.5% of revenue from taxes collected from companies and 2.5% of revenue from Social Security premiums, and her premium wouldn't cover the expenses for eye surgery.

Therefore, I had to personally sponsor her. I ensured she received the necessary operation and care, and then she returned to Kumasi. In gratitude, her family brought me a bunch of yams and plantains. It was a kind gesture, but it couldn't cover her medical bills. The reality is that the NHIS is not equipped to handle complex diseases. We cannot pride ourselves on having a National Health Insurance system that promises healthcare for all when it falls short in such cases.

There's no way around it—the NHIS doesn't cover expenses for brain tumors, open heart surgery, or complex spine orthopedics. It doesn't even come close to covering

the 10% of charges quoted abroad, which sometimes amount to the cost of a single business class ticket for a government official. These government officials often travel abroad for healthcare, while a schoolchild needs to put their entire hip joint at Focus Hospital. We have managed to reduce the cost of such procedures from $150,000 to $15,000, but the NHIS won't provide that amount. Why is that? We need to critically examine the system to determine if it's truly realistic and capable of covering the healthcare needs of Ghanaians. Unfortunately, it isn't. Even under the current system, there are numerous outstanding payments owed to healthcare providers. This, in turn, affects their bottom line. Many doctors and institutions complain of significant delays in receiving their payments.

As a result, private institutions become the next payers, but their services are expensive and unaffordable for everyone. Private healthcare should act as a supplement to the NHIS, but in reality, it falls short. Even when we consider corporate social responsibility, there are limits to how much support corporate entities can provide. Thankfully, we have received tremendous support from public institutions like GNPC and other organizations in the country who have embraced our mission at Focus Hospital—to provide the best orthopedic care for all. However, even with such collaboration, we still face challenges. In some cases, I've had to raise funds from abroad or use my own resources to cover the expenses for patients. We've been fortunate to receive support from institutions like the Ethiopian American Jewish Joint Commission, which supports not only Ethiopian children and not Ghanaian children. GNPC has provided funding for essential equipment like MRI scans and solar systems, allowing us to support patients in GNPC operational areas. Collaboration and teamwork are crucial in this endeavor, involving not only doctors but also enablers and creating an enabling environment, especially with government support.

In the past, I used to bring a physician from the US who would secure donations of equipment worth $1,000,000 to perform complex joint replacements. However, the FDA regulations required the donating company to register and provide biodegradable components for the implants, hindering our ability to utilize the FDA-approved implants. Despite efforts, we have yet to obtain the necessary approvals, leaving

patients suffering due to the inability to introduce donated implants into the system. This highlights the missing piece in our team—the need for all elements to come together like a jigsaw puzzle.

Out-of-pocket payments have spiraled out of control and are no longer realistic. If people are earning only $2 a day, it's impossible for them to allocate $10 for healthcare, except in cases of basic ailments like malaria. We must recognize that our healthcare system extends beyond communicable diseases, as non-communicable diseases are becoming increasingly prevalent due to lifestyle changes. We no longer engage in physical labor, opting for sedentary lifestyles in apartments with TVs and cars. These non-communicable diseases lead to chronic illnesses such as COPD and congestive heart failure, and the NHIS alone cannot address all these challenges. As a result, we are at risk of losing more lives while the population continues to grow.

Teamwork is essential, and to that end, over 500 international volunteers have visited Focus Hospital to provide assistance in the past two years. Some people ask me if I miss performing surgeries. My response is both yes and no. I miss the operating room environment where no one bothers you, but at the same time, I don't miss it because I have trained others to do what I do. My goal was always to pass on my skills and principles to others, and as long as I have accomplished that, I'm content. I don't have to do it all myself because it's impossible to save the entire world single-handedly.

To achieve better healthcare, we must build upon the four pillars of sustainable health: adequate human resources, proper infrastructure, robust healthcare financing, and effective management of both communicable and non-communicable complex diseases. Let's look at the first pillar—human resources. It's all part of teamwork for better healthcare. Do we have enough doctors, nurses, and physician assistants? I recently heard on the news that the doctor-to-population ratio has improved from one doctor for every 12,000 people to one doctor for every 9,000 people, and that's encouraging because it means we are training more doctors.

We need to retain all our skilled professionals, whether they are returning from the diaspora or undergoing retraining. This is crucial for addressing our human resource challenge. The Ministry of Health


and Ghana Health Service are responsible for developing a manpower agenda in the country. We must determine the required number of specialists, such as pediatricians, internists, and pulmonologists. Without a plan in place, we will end up training many generalists who will face obstacles. Generalists can perform initial screenings, and physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners can manage certain cases. However, physicians need to assess patients who are seriously ill and have been evaluated by PAs or nurse practitioners. Thus, improving our human resources requires concerted efforts from policymakers, the Ministry of Health, and the Ghana Health Service. We should consider the future demand for specialists and their distribution across rural communities, district hospitals, and tertiary institutions. If we fail to plan accordingly, trained professionals will seek opportunities elsewhere. It was recently mentioned in a publication that professionals go abroad in search of better opportunities. However, if we can retain them in our workforce, it will be necessary to have them in rural areas. To achieve this, we need to provide amenities such as housing, schools for their children, and reliable transportation. The current environment must also be improved, along with the necessary infrastructure for professionals to work effectively.

I believe it was Mrs. Ofori Ampofo who made that comment about nurses going abroad, is that correct? Yes. And I think you were trying to encourage them, but that shouldn't be the case. However, she also mentioned that we need 45,000 nurses, but we haven't reached that number yet for a population of 32 million. Therefore, we require physician extenders, and the government should establish a national manpower development program. This program should aim to build capacity for adequate healthcare delivery to meet the targets set by the World Health Organization for universal healthcare.

Now, let's discuss infrastructure. Teamwork is crucial, but even if you have the best physicians and specialists, they won't be able to perform effectively without the proper tools and facilities. It all starts with building infrastructure, which includes the necessary equipment. Additionally, we need qualified engineers, preferably medical engineers, who can fix equipment when it breaks down. For instance, there's a broken CAT scan at Focus Hospital that has been out of service

for the past eight months without any engineers available to fix it. This should not be the case. We should have medical engineers who can address equipment maintenance issues.

In Ghana, we tend to neglect maintenance, and this problem is widespread across various institutions. Mammography equipment remains broken, and it takes three months to fix a broken CT scan. We must prioritize the individuals who can maintain our facilities and infrastructure. When I was a child, I could travel from Kumasi to Takoradi to Accra and back on the same day using the train. We had express, sleeper, and local trains that efficiently transported people and goods. However, we failed to maintain them. Even if we couldn't build new ones, we should have maintained what we had. The same issue is occurring with our healthcare institutions.

We also need to invest in robust information technology. Telemedicine is one area that can greatly improve teamwork. For example, we can send a message to a rural physician who can send back an image. I recall a situation when I received a call from a friend in South Africa about her friend in Nigeria who had been in a car accident and suffered a spinal fracture. Through WhatsApp, I received the X-ray image and determined that the patient needed surgery. I advised them to come to Ghana for treatment. The message was relayed, and within 24 hours, the patient was on the operating table at Caliber Hospital, undergoing surgery. She recovered, went back to school, pursued her master's degree, and returned to Nigeria. This is a basic example of telemedicine, but now it has become even more advanced. What investments are we making in telemedicine to improve healthcare delivery, especially for those who cannot be in rural areas? This is a critical aspect that requires attention. We can also establish health maintenance organization systems like Kaiser, which involve cooperative efforts. Similar models such as Columbia Health and United Health have been successful in the United States. It is important to have government support for private institutions. When I look at Focus Hospitals, I sometimes feel concerned and wonder why it feels like a "sink or swim" operation. We call for investors to come and invest, but are they only interested in building factories or real estate? What about healthcare?

Personally, I have gone to the United

States and spent a significant amount of my own money. I convinced my friends to help me bring specialized orthopedics. I invested $25 million in operations here without much support from the government, except for $1 million that the President provided for acquiring the land. However, we still need to survive. Currently, I only have one power line from ECG. So when there's an outage, I don't have any power. I approached the President to request two additional power lines, but it didn't work out. As a result, my lights go out, and I have to rely on a generator. This puts me behind on my ECG bills, and when they come to cut off the power, it becomes discouraging.

The enabling environment is not supportive, which is disheartening. Unless you have a strong determination to excel, you will be discouraged. Teamwork doesn't just involve me and the multidisciplinary specialists; it also requires the involvement of public institutions that ensure the survival of hospitals providing good healthcare. Even though they are struggling, they strive to deliver adequate and quality healthcare, which is expensive. Not everyone can afford it, and not all health issues are as common as malaria. We also have cases of breast cancer, brain cancer, urological cancer, and end-stage kidney disease. Who will pay for dialysis if it's needed? What happens when a kidney transplant is required? I've witnessed loved ones having to sell land to travel to India for kidney transplants, even though we have capable surgeons here. Therefore, policymakers and the public need to seriously reconsider their agenda and think about these issues.

Prevention, early intervention, community health, and education programs are crucial, particularly in addressing infectious diseases. The impact of COVID-19 on our country highlighted the importance of being prepared with centers of excellence in infectious diseases. Fortunately, we were fortunate enough to avoid the severe consequences experienced by other countries like the United States. However, we cannot simply rely on luck and must invest in advanced laboratories, pharmaceuticals, testing, and vaccine development. These should be prioritized on the government's agenda.

Once we have achieved better healthcare, we can then focus on sustainable development to attain the Sustainable Development Goals. This requires comprehensive and integrated investments in healthcare


delivery to prevent, detect, and respond to health issues while adhering to international norms. Without sustainability, it becomes challenging to prevent, detect, and respond adequately with an extensive healthcare system. The launch of the Global Health Security Index in response to COVID-19 emphasized the need for comprehensive assessment and benchmarking of health security and related capabilities, particularly for infectious diseases and outbreaks. Out of the 195 countries assessed, we scored only 34, indicating the need for significant improvement compared to the best-performing country, Japan, with a score of over 90.

The Sustainable Development Goals aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all by 2030. However, it seems unlikely that we will achieve these goals within the given timeframe. We may need to apply for an extension or at least acknowledge that more time will be required. To eliminate poverty, we must prioritize accessible and affordable healthcare. Policymakers should strengthen public-private partnerships and propose job

placements for healthcare workers, as they often become the breadwinners for their families. Additionally, efforts should be made to reduce brain drain, as this contributes to poverty. Providing people with money alone does not eradicate poverty; instead, improving their health enables them to work and support themselves and their families.

The second goal is zero hunger, which necessitates a balanced diet for good health. Simply providing rice repeatedly does not address hunger or promote health. We must focus on improving agricultural systems, environmental practices, and food production, preservation, processing, and distribution to achieve balanced nutrition and approach zero hunger. Currently, we rely heavily on imported rice and oil, so transforming lands used for illegal mining and other unsustainable practices into agricultural areas is essential.

The third goal is good health and well-being, which holds significant importance for our profession. It is based on the four pillars mentioned earlier: human resource infrastructure, healthcare, financing,

and managing complex diseases. By focusing on these pillars, we can achieve good health and well-being for our citizens, ultimately reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The fourth goal is quality education, specifically in terms of manpower development, which pertains to the human resource aspect. We need to foster the development of skilled professionals in basic and advanced healthcare, as well as education and training. There is a need for more specialists in various fields such as pharmacy, nutrition, nursing, and oncology. Additionally, ensuring basic education for individuals with disabilities is crucial. Establishing and supporting centers of excellence is also essential. By addressing these areas, we can foster teamwork for better healthcare and sustainable development, making this goal a reality within our lifetime. Thank you very much.



Dr Anarfi Asamoa Baah is a former Deputy Director General of the World Health Organization, a position he held for ten years from 2007 to 2017. Before that he had served as an Assistant Director General in WHO Headquarters, Geneva for four different clusters ( Governing Bodies and Partnerships; Health Technology and Pharmaceuticals, Communicable Diseases and Emergencies, HIV/TB and Malaria.

Prior to joining WHO, he had paid his dues in Ghana, having worked at all levels of the health system to the very highest position of Director of Medical Services. He played a key role in many of the heath sector reforms in the 1990s, particularly strengthening the district health

Mr Chairman, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen.

First, please accept my apologies for my inability to be with you.

I wish to salute the organizers for the vision and foresight in putting this forum together. I wish to particularly applaud Mr Abraham Gyesie for his determination, persistence and If I am allowed his stubborness in ensuring that this forum on team to health care delivery happens.

The idea of a team aporoach to health care delivery is not new. Considerable progress has been made these last decades. But a lot more remains to be done. We still battle with our historical and cultural baggage when for a long

systems, establishing the budget management centres, 5 year and annual programmes of work, annual health summit, instituting partnership arrangements with development partners, decentralising scholarships to regions, laying the foundations for the establishment of the Ghana Health Service, National Health Insurance, the Food and Drugs Authority and the School of Public Health, among others.

Since retiring from WHO, he has continued to support the health sector in Ghana in diverse ways. His latest assignment has been the Presidential Coordinator for Ghana's Covid19 response. He is also the Board Chairman of the University of Ghana Medical Centre.

time, health care was equated with medical care. Medical care has traditionally revolved around the medical doctor. In the process, the other members of the team, have felt that their role and contributions have been marginalised or not propoerly acknowleged.

Recent developments in the world, particularly climate change and Covid19 have once again reminded us how important it is that we work as a team and as single ecosystem.

Health care delivery is a teamsport. And its important to learn from other team sports, particularly football. I am thinking of the Ghana Black Stars.

We need all members of the team

to play their part to have a winning team. It helps to have a few stars but you also need the other members of the team to help the stars shine.

To be a winning team, you need to have the same goals and targets. We need to strategise together, train together, rehearse together. We need to understand and appreciate each others' unique perspectives, skills and competencies and we must to cover the back for each other.

Thats why conferences like these that brings our different "tribes" togrther are so useful. Given the galaxy of stars attending this Forum, I have no doubt that you will have a successful conference.

I wish you all the best!

Dr Anarfi Asamoa Baah Read on his behalf by Mrs Naa Okailey Adamafio-Manteau, Country Manager for Denk Pharma


Read on his behalf by Mrs Joycelyn Azeez, Director of Pharmaceutical Services of the Ministry of Health

Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, Chairman of FORUM 2023, Nana Prof. Oheneba Boakye-Agyei Woahene II, Patron of FORUM 2023, Special Guests, Eminent Health Professionals, Captains of the Healthcare Industry, Media Representatives, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen gathered here in this Auditorium and all the virtual attendees, wherever you may be, I wish you all a very good morning.

I am indeed highly honoured by the invitation from Mr. Abraham Gyesie, CEO of Health And Development Consult to be the Special Guest of Honour for this 1ST ANNUAL HEALTH & DEVELOPMENT FORUM 2023 under the theme “Teamwork For Better Healthcare & Sustainable Development”. I have also gladly noted that this FORUM 2023 will be an annual affair so we can look forward to FORUM 2024 and onwards to highlight and tackle other relevant health and development issues.

I am told that the main objectives of this FORUM 2023 include the following:

To engage the Experts in conversations with their Stakeholders and Clients on the need for and how to achieve

Teamwork for Better Healthcare Delivery and the achievement of the SDGs with special reference to health-related issues.

To follow up with three SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE MEETINGS in May, June and July 2023 to concretize the necessary actions to be taken to teach, promote, and entrench the concept and practice of teamwork among healthcare professionals for better healthcare delivery and sustainable development.

To make recommendations for appropriate actions to be taken by Policy Makers, Regulators, Healthcare Professionals, Training Institutions, Clients, and Stakeholders to ensure better healthcare delivery and sustainable development.

To disseminate such information and recommendations as widely as possible for the benefit of all in Ghana, Africa, and Globally.

These are indeed remarkable objectives and I have no doubt at all in my mind that this FORUM 2023 and the three Expert Round Table Meetings that will follow will be successfully executed, judging from the high caliber of Resource Persons, Speakers, and Panelists

that are and will be involved. The Ministry of Health will eagerly await the receipt of the report of this FORUM 2023 together with its recommendations and I would like to assure you that they will be carefully studied and appropriate actions will be taken in the supreme interest of the good people of Ghana.

The call for financial, technical, and logistical assistance to support the work of HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT CONSULT has not fallen on deaf ears. We will engage to explore the ways and means to concretize this support. We also recommend to all the Agencies and Partners of the Ministry of Health to assist HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT CONSULT as they may deem fit. Indeed, The Ministry of Health recognises some of the good works that HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT CONSULT has been doing since it was founded by Pharm Abraham Gyesie in March 2015 to promote teamwork among healthcare professionals for better healthcare delivery as one of its main objectives.

I wish you all fruitful deliberations and may God bless our homeland Ghana.

Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu
CONS ULT NEWS-ONLINE We plead with all Professional Health Associations to endeavour to make this pubilcation available to their student health professionals. Please contact us via email at or WhatsApp us on +233 24 496 5843 for any further information Published by HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT CONSULT

Panel discussion

Now, shifting to the viewpoint of nurses and midwives, we have the esteemed President, Mrs. Perpetual Ofori Ampofo. Please join me up here. Thank you.

Next, we want to hear from the training institution's perspective, and to provide us with insights, we have the Rector of the Ghana College of Pharmacists, Dr. Yvonne Yirenkyiwaa Esseku, who has graciously agreed to participate.

Thank you very much. I would like to begin by acknowledging the presence of the esteemed professor who is chairing this discussion, as well as Nana, Convenor. I also extend my gratitude to the convener and all other distinguished guests. It is my pleasure to moderate this section, where we will thoroughly appreciate and discuss the valuable insights shared by Nana. Unfortunately, it seems that some of the panelists have arrived a bit late, but that's a small price to pay for the engaging discussion we are about to have.

The discussion


To initiate the discussion, we will first hear from a doctor's perspective, and representing the doctors at this forum is none other than Dr. Justice Yankson. If Justice Yankson is in the room, please join me up here. Not yet? Alright. Moving on, we will then gain insights from a pharmacist's perspective. No, you can't join, as you are the chair.

Speaking from the pharmacist's perspective, we have Mr. Kwabena Asante-Offei Esq, the Vice President who also happens to be the Co-MC for this section.

From the Ghana Health Service's standpoint, we have Dr. Lawrence. Please join us. Please keep applauding for him. Dr. Lawrence is here representing the Director General of the Ghana Health Service. Ladies and gentlemen, both present and those who arrived a bit later, for the past three years, we have witnessed the impact of COVID-19 and the significance of the One Health approach. To ensure a balanced discussion, we have specifically invited someone from the Animal Health sector to share their perspectives. Please help me welcome Dr. Kikimoto. Thank you, Dr. Kikimoto, for accepting this invitation at such short notice.

Ladies and gentlemen, let's give them a round of applause.

I believe that most of you have heard what Nana shared with us, opening up about his life experiences. It is evident that each of you will approach the concept of teamwork from your own perspectives. We need to reflect on what can be done better and identify areas for improvement. It wasn't long ago that an incident occurred in the Ashanti region, where things went terribly wrong. People were pointing fingers, claiming who they were and

Dr. Lawrence Lartey

Thank you, ma'am, and thank you for the opportunity. Drawing from my experience in the field, particularly my work in the emergency department for several years, I have learned valuable lessons. For instance, there was a day when a severely anemic and unwell patient had a seizure and fainted while in the washroom. She accidentally broke the toilet bowl and collapsed. We faced the challenge of how to lift her from that situation. Personally,

what they were responsible for. However, such a situation should never arise, as it signifies that the system was not functioning properly.

Ladies and gentlemen, now I will give you a breather, and Dr. Lawrence Lartey Please speak on behalf of the service providers.

Thank you very much.

I did not have the physical strength, but we had a security guard who was well-built and capable. We quickly called upon the security guard, and despite the messy situation, he efficiently lifted the woman and placed her on a bed. It was at that moment I realized that every member of the team matters when it comes to service delivery. Even the driver plays a crucial role in the success of our services. Therefore, from the perspective of the Ghana Health Service, we

acknowledge the importance of every individual in a non-discriminatory manner. There are times when, for example, both the doctor and nurse may be tired, but other people, including patients' relatives, can be called upon for assistance. By working together, lives are saved. Hence, from the service perspective, we greatly value teamwork and recognize its impact on the outcomes of the services we deliver.

Thank you.

MAY / JUNE 2023 | PAGE 16
Moderator - Dr. Mrs Gyansa-Lutterodt


Thank you very much. I believe that most of us here have experienced being on the service side, and at this moment, we want to identify the gaps and recommend actions that we can take together. So I will come back to you as we collectively think through the gaps. Now, I would like to turn to my friend, Dr. Yankson, from the doctor's perspective. Unfortunately, you missed a powerful letter from Nana that provided comprehensive insights, covering

Dr. Justice Yankson

Alright, good morning once again, everyone. From a doctor's perspective, we have always held the view that healthcare delivery is grounded on teamwork. Whatever a doctor does, it often involves the collaboration of other health professionals in one way or another. Sometimes, it may even involve non-health professionals or other healthcare workers. Therefore, the principle that teamwork is essential in all our endeavors is of utmost importance.


areas such as human resources, financing, infrastructure, and processes. Nana emphasized the need for teamwork and highlighted that a single operation requires the involvement of approximately 37 professionals, not all of whom can be doctors. What are your thoughts on teamwork from a doctor's perspective?

You can have a situation where a Doctor who spends, let's say, 10 hours performing a surgery. However, if the other healthcare professionals do not perform their roles well in the post-surgery and recovery phases, such as in the recovery ward or ICU, you realize that all the work done during that 10-hour period, including any pre-surgery preparations, would be lost. Ultimately, this could result in the loss of the patient's life, which we all hope to prevent through our interventions. Therefore, teamwork is key, and we need to improve all aspects of ensuring that every team

I will pause here so that we can later discuss what is not working well and provide recommendations. Moving on to nurses and midwives, we realize that there are different categories of nurses, and ironically, the experienced ones are the ones we need the most, especially during critical situations. Unfortunately, we find ourselves importing rather than retaining them. It would be beneficial for us

Thank you for the opportunity and the valuable insights. Good morning, everyone, and greetings to the fellow panelists. Nurses and midwives play a critical role in the health system, forming its core. A health system cannot function without an adequate number of nurses and midwives, as we have heard from Prof. Chair and other speakers today. Whenever a doctor is involved in any activity or procedure, a certain number of nurses are required to assist in that process.

Midwifery has come a long way in terms of history, and we are currently at a point where midwives are recognized as independent professionals. Individuals can progress through the profession, starting from the lowest grade to achieving professorship. Midwives are empowered to make independent decisions regarding patient care. In Ghana, there are three main entry paths into the health system for nurses: auxiliary, diploma, and


member understands their role and responsibilities, knows when to call on others, and how quickly people will respond to such calls. Even though we may appear to be practicing teamwork, it may not yield the desired results if actors within the team do not understand their roles properly. This is where we need to step in and address the issue.

If I reflect on my own practice over the years, I can see that many of our facilities exhibit varying degrees of dysfunctionality when it comes to teamwork.

to understand this situation better, as Nana pointed out earlier, human resources are crucial in our work. Therefore, I would like you to address the existing gaps and explore how your teams, from community health nurses to specialized nurses like ENT specialists, can work together more effectively. Additionally, we should consider both what we can do differently and what areas we should continue to export.

While auxiliary trained nurses make a positive impact by filling in gaps where professional diploma or degree nurses are unavailable, empirical evidence from scientific studies consistently shows that patients are safest under the care of nurses or midwives who have higher levels of knowledge, skills, and competencies. Therefore, it is crucial to focus on improving nursing education. We are fortunate to have the Ghana College of Nurses and Midwives, which trains specialists in various fields. Additionally, post-basic specialist programs such as ENT, perioperative, and critical care have been in existence.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for critical care and emergency nurses was paramount. We had to mobilize resources, even including those who were still in training, to address the demand. So, when it comes to identifying gaps, we must strengthen the nursing workforce, including diploma holders, degree holders, and those with specialized

skills that are essential in the health system. Looking ahead, as midwives, we envision a future where entry into nursing itself should be through a degree program. This is because caring for complex human beings, from head to toe, requires a comprehensive set of competencies.

You need to ensure that when you have to make critical decisions on the spot, they are ones that will save lives and improve the patient's condition compared to when they arrived. The emergency systems in Ghana are not the best, and we can all attest to that. We can be rushed to any facility, but the crucial question to ask is whose hands will we be in?

Teamwork is crucial, especially in the healthcare field, where a team comprises individuals with various areas of expertise. As Nana mentioned, just like the body relies on its different parts, we need each other. Strengthening teamwork requires certain elements, which I can discuss later if given the chance.



Thank you, Madam President. Now I would like to address the Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. What do you think is not working well in terms of teamwork? You mentioned attracting other professionals to your focus team, which indicates that effective work can be infectious.

When someone sees that you are doing well, they want to be part of it. In your own words, what should the role of a pharmacist be in this whole concept of teamwork? Are you working as a team, or are you solely focused on your passion and doing your own thing? Please share your thoughts.

Pharm Kwabena Asante-Offei

Thank you, Madam. Maybe I'll provide a slightly different perspective. I believe whether or not we are working together as a team at any given time should be determined from the perspective of the patients we are caring for. It doesn't matter if it's your specialty or mine; what matters to the patient is the ability to recover. So, at any given point, if we examine our roles from that perspective and ask ourselves if we have done everything possible to provide healthcare to the patient, we can better understand the importance of teamwork.

Taking it a step further, considering our unique circumstances, the convener mentioned our specific space. I came across some information recently about non-communicable diseases (NCDs). It states that 41 million people die each year from NCDs (source: WHO), and around 30 million of those deaths occur in countries with limited resources, including Ghana. It's as if Ghana's population disappears every year, only to be replaced by another country the following year. However, what's interesting is that 77% of these deaths are preventable, including in countries like Ghana.

When we think about our work in light of these facts, we realize that it goes beyond individual efforts. It is about what we can all do together to prevent such


occurrences. Let me provide an example, perhaps wearing my lawyer hat for a moment. I recently spoke to a group of pharmacists about healthcare.

When considering our work with this perspective in mind, we come to realize that the scope of our responsibilities extends beyond our individual capacity. It encompasses what we can achieve collectively to prevent such occurrences. Allow me to provide an example, perhaps putting on my lawyer hat for a moment.

Recently, I had a discussion with a group of pharmacists who were interested in understanding the legal implications of negligence. I emphasized the importance of ensuring that they fulfill their obligations and perform their duties correctly. During the conversation, they raised a question. I responded by stating that as long as they have done what they are required to do, and there is evidence to support it, they are absolved of their duty to deny any further responsibility.

One of the pharmacists then shared a story about a certain hospital in a setting outside of Ghana. In this story, a physician prescribed methotrexate to a patient to be taken daily, even though it should have been taken once a week. The pharmacist brought this matter to the doctor's attention, and the doctor acknowledged that it was improper but had personal reasons for the decision. The

Indeed, your point resonates with my own experiences and observations. I distinctly recall instances from my past when I was younger, although not in reference to prophesied demand. In those times, long before my existence, there was a practice known as "Kusum."

"Kusum" was a phenomenon where consumers, in this case, healthcare professionals, would deviate from a doctor's prescription. It often occurred when the doctor's prescribed treatment was deemed

pharmacist, following the doctor's instructions, proceeded to dispense the medication and recorded their compliance.

Unfortunately, the patient passed away, and the case was brought to court on the grounds of negligence. Surprisingly, the judge ruled that both the pharmacist and the doctor were negligent. This puzzled me because the pharmacist had done their due diligence by alerting the doctor, yet the liability was not solely placed on the doctor. I wondered why.


In the judge's reasoning, he emphasized that the patient's life is of utmost importance. Both the pharmacist and the doctor possessed professional knowledge that should have enabled them to make a decision that would save the patient's life. However, despite their actions, the patient's life was lost. Therefore, the judge concluded that the responsibility lay not only with the individual actions but also with the collective efforts to ensure the patient's survival.

This judgment taught us that it is not sufficient to merely fulfill our individual obligations. In the end, we must question whether we have all done everything within our power to ensure the patient's well-being. This realization serves as a poignant reminder that our ultimate goal should always be to safeguard and preserve life.

ineffective or outdated, while newer and more suitable alternatives existed, despite the doctor's reluctance to change the course of treatment, other healthcare professionals would come together and strive to ensure that the patient received a different, more appropriate intervention. This collective effort aimed to save the patient, but it also highlighted the lack of synergy within the healthcare teams.

If the teams were truly functioning collaboratively, we would witness more openness from the doctors towards accepting the changes recommended by other


healthcare professionals. Alternatively, the approach taken by these professionals could also influence the doctor's receptiveness. If their approach appears confrontational or arrogant, it may discourage the doctor from considering alternative viewpoints, even if they are valid.

This brings me to the topic of training. I believe that, as a representative of the rectors' forum, you would have a valuable perspective to share with the rest of the directors who are not present here. It prompts us to question what we can do differently in terms of training.

For instance, there are cases where certain medical devices or implants must come from

Dr Yvonne Yirenkyiwaa

Thank you very much, Madam. I appreciate your kind words and the opportunity to contribute to this discussion. I am delighted to hear that teamwork and collaboration are valued within the Rectors Forum and that there are ongoing discussions on building a health workforce that can deliver specialist care while recognizing the contributions of each discipline. This is crucial for ensuring improved patient outcomes.

Speaking specifically about the Ghana College of Pharmacy, we believe that collaboration and


the United States, despite Ghana's own progress in the fields of pharmacology, drug development, and pharmacy. It is essential to recognize the expertise and contributions of local specialists and pharmacists. Companies like Pfizer, for example, one of their developement pharmacist is a Ghanaian.

When it comes to training, we should strive to create an environment where specialists are trained in a way that acknowledges and values the contributions of each discipline. It is through our engagement with teaching hospitals and training sites that we can work together to ensure comprehensive and well-rounded training for our healthcare workforce.

teamwork are essential values that we instill in our specialists during their training. Effective communication is a vital aspect of this, encompassing interactions among team members, peers, superiors, and subordinates. Although communication may not be a technical skill for pharmacists, we recognize its utmost importance. Pharmacists are the experts on medication, providing information to prescribers. However, it is crucial to consider how that information is delivered. Does it challenge the prescriber's understanding of the condition in a constructive manner, or does it create friction? Effective communication prevents

Regarding your question about local production of implants, it is essential to explore which profession is best suited to lead in the area of attractive development. This is part of the larger discussion on bringing all professions together. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed the challenges faced when we have done all that we can but lack the necessary resources, such as vaccines, to provide to the people. This highlights the importance of working as a team to address such issues and prevent future occurrences. Furthermore, the concept of "One Health" has become increasingly relevant, emphasizing the need for collaboration and teamwork.

Thank you, Madam. I am honored to be a part of this One Health meeting and to represent the veterinary profession. Veterinary public health plays a crucial role in the overall well-being of human beings, encompassing the physical, mental, and social aspects of health. The interconnection between animal and human health is evident, with the majority of diseases originating from animals rather than being purely human. This highlights the

misunderstandings and ensures progress for the benefit of the patient.

Built within teamwork is the understanding that each part of the healthcare team plays a crucial role and must work together seamlessly, akin to the unity of a human body in motion. We aim to cultivate an environment where the healthcare team functions as one cohesive unit, ensuring that patients receive excellent care without having to identify the specific professionals they interacted with.

COVID-19 has underscored the interconnectedness of human and animal health, particularly regarding zoonotic diseases. We must learn to work with veterinarians to tackle these shared health challenges effectively. It is worth mentioning that the WTO has introduced a treaty focusing on information sharing, although challenges remain when it comes to sharing products and data under patent laws and TRIPS agreements.

Dr. Kikimoto, as a veterinarian, your perspective on teamwork and its relevance in Ghana, especially considering the current circumstances, would be highly valuable.

importance of One Health and the collaboration between veterinary and human health sectors. Globally, there are 4198 diseases out that 3558 are of animal origins, only 630 are purely human dieseas.

Many diseases that we face today, such as Ebola and COVID-19, have their origins in animals. Understanding and addressing these diseases require the veterinary profession to stand on its feet, as it provides critical insights and expertise. If the veterinary profession falters, the

human health sector will face significant challenges. When diseases cross over from animals to humans, they often take on new forms due to differences in immunity and coexistence. Therefore, the presence and active participation of the veterinary profession are vital.

I have been involved in veterinary public health since 1995 and have worked closely with the Minister of Health, raising awareness about diseases such as rabies and the importance of prevention. However, there is still a need for


greater collaboration and trust between the health sectors to effectively address zoonotic diseases. It is encouraging that we are gathered here today to work on collaboration and improve the collective response. Resistance to antibiotics is another significant concern that affects both human and animal health sectors. By working together, we can tackle this issue and enhance our approach to healthcare as a unified team. Our past experiences, such as dealing with Ebola and the National

Thank you for highlighting the importance of teamwork and acknowledging that simply mentioning it is not enough to achieve effective collaboration. To ensure that teamwork has real meaning and leads to better outcomes, there are key activities and supporting factors that need to be in place.

One crucial aspect is the establishment of procedures and protocols. Having clear guidelines and standardized processes helps ensure that the team operates cohesively. Additionally, effective communication and collaboration are essential. If communication breaks down, teamwork will suffer, and without teamwork, there can be no effective communication. Improving communication reduces medical errors, enhances patient safety, and ultimately improves outcomes.

It's important to address the fundamentals beyond technical

Dr. Perpetual Ofori Ampofo

Thank you, I completely agree with your points. The training and placement of professionals are crucial factors. It is important to prepare professionals with the right skills and knowledge, and the work environment should be conducive to teamwork. Systems like reporting and protocols also play a key role, as well as considering the larger economic context that supports professional development and service delivery in communities.

Regarding teamwork, I want to be straightforward here. It is true that there have been cases where institutions have not invested enough

Technical Committee for Ebola, demonstrate the power of collaboration and coordination in overcoming health challenges. As we move forward, let us remember that we are all working towards the same goal. Each profession has a vital role to play, and teamwork is essential to ensure success. I invite each panelist to share their perspective on what we can do to improve teamwork within our respective fields and return to our teams with a unified vision for progress.

knowledge and ensure that all areas of the team function as a complete unit. Manuals, protocols, and other resources can be used to ensure that all necessary areas are properly addressed and integrated.

Traditionally, doctors in larger hospitals work in teams, holding regular in-house and departmental meetings. However, effective communication extends beyond these internal meetings. Collaborating with other departments, such as pathology, is crucial for the seamless flow of patient care. Communication gadgets and infrastructure must be in place to support effective communication and collaboration. It's not just about superficial harmony between colleagues but addressing the practical aspects that hinder functionality. Details like having contact numbers and clear lines of communication within departments and access to specialists are essential for proper teamwork. By addressing these small yet critical factors, we can create an environment that

in educating their staff about team building and teamwork. I remember when we spoke to nurses in Manhyia, only one hand went up. This shows that while they are working, there is a lack of knowledge about the practical aspects of working together in a team. In training, you are taught about the health team and everyone's roles, but the reality of working with people who have different personalities and attitudes, including patients with different personalities, requires a deep understanding and respect for each other. In our teams, we must recognize and respect the roles each individual plays and remember that our primary purpose is to ensure the well-being of the patient and their return to their families. We should let

fosters effective teamwork.

Patient safety is of utmost importance, but sometimes the healthcare environment itself creates obstacles. It's crucial to establish protocols, procedures, and standard operating procedures for nurses and other healthcare professionals to ensure consistent and coordinated care.

In addition to sub-unit meetings, it is important to have collective meetings involving doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to discuss and align on patient care. These meetings help ensure that the care provided is directed towards the desired outcome.

Overall, teamwork requires attention to detail and a focus on addressing the supporting factors necessary for effective collaboration. By doing so, we can improve patient outcomes and enhance the overall quality of healthcare delivery.

go of egos and attitudes that imply superiority, as our actions speak louder than words.

Humility is important. No individual possesses all knowledge, and it is crucial to be open to advice and suggestions. Nurses can offer valuable insights to doctors based on their years of experience, and the best doctors are those who learn from their nurses. As a house officer, starting at a young age, there are countless things one can learn from experienced professionals that cannot be taught in school. It is vital to incorporate all these principles into our approach to our duties.



I completely agree that we should respect each other, regardless of our positions. I, as a pharmacist, have learned from technicians, such as how to prepare certain medications. It is essential to have mutual respect while also recognizing the role of a team lead. The balance between respect and leadership should be maintained.

Pharm Kwabena Asante-Offei

Thank you, I agree with the importance of defining roles, and one way to start is by referring to the current health professions regulatory bodies and acts. These regulatory frameworks clearly outline the responsibilities of each profession, ensuring better coordination and harmony. I'm aware that discussions are ongoing among health professional groups to review and improve the existing legislation, with the aim of enhancing coordination and clarity for the benefit of patients.

Another point I'd like to raise is the advancement of knowledge and competencies in various professions. For example, the minimum qualification for pharmacists is now a Pharm D degree, which brings enhanced content and competence compared to the previous Bachelor's degree. In light of these advancements, it's worth


I would like to address the pharmacist now. I know that you have standard operating procedures, but I'm curious about the extent to which they are being implemented. As the vice president of the pharmaceutical society, your insights on this matter would be valuable.

considering whether Pharm D graduates can contribute in ways that make the work of other healthcare professionals easier. As healthcare professionals continue to advance in their competencies, there may be tasks or responsibilities that can be delegated to others, allowing each professional to focus on what they are uniquely qualified to handle. This could lead to more efficient and effective healthcare delivery.

Regarding local manufacturing, it is a topic that extends beyond teamwork and encompasses various aspects such as the economy and taxes. One example is the policy that grants a 15% price preference to locally produced pharmaceuticals in government procurement. This means that even if a locally produced medicine is slightly more expensive than an imported alternative with the same quality, the local product should be preferred. However, questions

The President of the Republic has established a committee and introduced legislation aimed at boosting local vaccine manufacturing. This initiative goes beyond manufacturers and involves various professions collaborating to provide essential services such as scientific and legal expertise. The objective is to ensure that we reduce dependency on imports and

Another area of focus is leveraging the presence of community pharmacies across the country to enhance public healthcare at the community level. Community pharmacies are

arise as to which budget should cover the additional cost. The Ministry of Health, for instance, wonders if the budget for the price preference should come from their allocated funds or from the Ministry of Industries. The concern is that the money allocated for the preference could have been used to purchase a greater quantity of products or improve other healthcare services. This highlights the need for harmonization and collaboration among different sectors and disciplines to address such challenges in local manufacturing.

To truly achieve local manufacturing capabilities, it requires a collaborative effort involving multiple sectors and disciplines. This level of collaboration is essential to ensure that we can develop our own medicines and vaccines, which would be invaluable during future pandemics.

maximize local production. This exemplifies how our generation can contribute differently by supporting the President's efforts. However, it is crucial to evaluate whether the government is receiving value for money when certain medicines are restricted from importation to promote local manufacturers.

abundant and can serve as a valuable resource in advancing healthcare. We believe there is a missing link between the public health sector and community pharmacies, which needs to be addressed.

Pharm Kwabena Asante-Offei


For instance, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the private sector was effectively engaged through data input mechanisms. Similarly, we should explore ways to gather data from community pharmacies, considering that they are often the first point of contact for many Ghanaians seeking medical assistance.

Collaboration and teamwork were evident during the COVID-19 response, where both the private sector and the government worked together to provide services. Currently, the Ghana Health Service is undertaking a project on event-based surveillance that involves integrating chemical sellers and community pharmacists as key stakeholders in public health surveillance.

However, in addition to standard operating procedures and training, individual attitudes and culture play a vital role in determining


outcomes. We must question whether we view ourselves as solely pursuing individual gains or as individuals committed to providing service for the greater good. To achieve success, it is imperative that we come together as a team, displaying the right attitude and respect for both subordinates and superiors. As Professor Irina Agyapong taught us, soft skills are just as crucial as knowledge and expertise. In the words of Henry Ford, coming together is merely the beginning; remaining together is what leads to true success but working together, we achieve more than what we initially anticipate.

Now, regarding the collection and consolidation of data from smaller healthcare facilities, such as community pharmacies, the Ghana Health Service aims to improve its database comprehensively. This was the question the Vice President raised, and I attempted to address it by emphasizing the

By doing so, the Ghana Health Service can detect early warning signs and signals, which are crucial in identifying potential outbreaks. The Community Network of

Dr. Boye Kikimoto

Thank you very much, Madam Chair. I would like to address the key points for veterinarians working with the Ghana Health Service to ensure effective collaboration. Firstly, in light of the issue of antimicrobial resistance and the need to go beyond that, veterinarians should actively participate in disease surveillance efforts. This includes working closely with the Surveillance Department of the

Therefore, from the perspective of the service, we aim to instill a culture of teamwork, emphasizing that individuals are not alone and should not act solely for personal gain. The focus should be on the interests of the patient, rather than maligning others to advance one's own position. In critical situations, such as when a doctor is exhausted but a patient is experiencing life-threatening bleeding, the doctor must persevere, supported by colleagues and superiors, to save lives. Thus, teamwork is a fundamental value that all healthcare professionals should possess.

need to collaborate with community pharmacies to obtain a holistic understanding of the treatments and healthcare people are receiving.

Practice, which is being enhanced, will serve as a repository for information on chemical sellers, community pharmacists, and other relevant stakeholders. Training will be provided, enabling them to recognize threshold

Ghana Health Service to ensure smooth information flow from their field to the central database. It's important to note that not everything is perfect, but veterinarians can strive to improve their engagement. They play a crucial role in the health sector, and their input is essential. The veterinary team consists of different professionals, including veterinary nurses, technologists, technicians, and animal health record keepers. Although their

levels and potential outbreak indicators. This will enable prompt response and intervention at the community level, ensuring that the service can swiftly address emerging health concerns.

educational backgrounds may vary, they work together to ensure that disease outbreaks are identified and addressed at the district or community level before reaching the health units.

All data related to zoonotic diseases, those that can be transmitted between animals and humans, are captured and shared on the One Health platform, which is accessible to the Ministry of Health. This highlights the strong relationship and

Dr. Lawrence Lartey Dr. Lawrence Lartey

interconnectivity between human and animal health sectors. To facilitate effective collaboration, there is a National Technical Coordinating Committee comprising representatives from various sectors, including health, environment, animal health, immigration, and interior. Led by the Minister of Health, this committee ensures that all activities align with the overall goal of promoting public health. How many times have you seen the animal helpers become a


significant endeavor organized under the leadership of HD Consult? None of the professors are present here either. Therefore, we must reestablish this initiative so that it functions effectively. You have performed admirably in addressing antimicrobial resistance, even surpassing certain aspects of the Ministry of Health. However, we neglected diseases for a long time under the guidance of the research professor, resulting in unfortunate consequences.

Thank you very much for your efforts. As you were speaking, I realized the significance of eradicating rabies, for example, through dog vaccination. By preventing its spread to animals, we can ensure it does not reach humans. Once it affects humans, there is very little that can be done, despite administering anti-rabies treatment. This realization strengthens my conviction that we should adopt a zero-tolerance approach to rabies, emphasizing affordable rabies vaccines for animals. It is crucial to collaborate closely with

Dr Yvonne Yirenkyiwaa

Thank you very much, Madam. One of the things we need to address is how to build capacity and fill the gaps in the production of devices, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and other essential items. As a trainer, my main takeaway would be to develop a comprehensive training curriculum. For example, when discussing screws, we should

Please enlighten me on what occurred. We were not proactive in dealing with influenza cases and failed to eliminate them successfully. The ironic part is that while you don't consume your patients, we do, leading to our own demise. Fortunately, certain diseases, if contracted, will also lead to the demise.

veterinarians and enable their teams to work effectively. Now, let's hear the final words from the director before we open the floor to the audience. I will take questions from two or three individuals, so please raise your hand promptly.

Once I select three people, I will not entertain any further requests, as I have been informed about time constraints.

engage with the engineering faculty and schools to help them understand the specific requirements. I believe they have the technical expertise to manufacture these devices, but a better understanding of the exact needs is necessary. Expanding our focus on teamwork beyond the health team is crucial, involving everyone who contributes to healthcare in some way. We need to collaborate with


Ladies and gentlemen, we have been here since 11 o'clock. Before I came out, I was told that we have one hour, but I mentioned that it would be less than one hour. However, we have managed to conclude within an hour.

The chairman informed me that he has to travel tonight, so I won't attempt to summarize everything. But I want you to know that in this meeting, we discussed the infectious nature of teamwork.

We heard from Professor Nana, who shared his personal experiences with us. We discussed protocols, procedures, effective communication, sector plans, and the importance of respect. We touched on event-based surveillance, cultural considerations, and the zero tolerance for rabies.

Appreciation for each team member and the

them and find ways to better prepare these technical professionals to meet the required standards. These products are already in use, and it's important to reach a point where we can produce them locally, reducing the need for transportation from places like New York. This will lower costs and allow more people to access these services. Thank you once again.


significance of leadership were also highlighted. We must learn to lead and govern.

With that, I would like to bring this meeting to a close and ask you to join me in thanking the panelists. Dr. Justice Yankson, the Vice President of the GMA, Mrs. Perpetual ROfori Ampofo, the President of the GRNMA, Mr. Kwabena Asante-Offei, the Vice President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana, Dr. Mrs. Yvonne Yirenkyiwaa Esseku, the Rector of Ghana College of Pharmacists, Dr. Lawrence Lartey, the Acting Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, and Dr. Boye Kikimoto, a Veterinary Public Health Consultant who has made significant contributions in this field.

Your insights and contributions are highly appreciated, and I cannot thank you enough.



Thank you to all the participants, the panelists, and everyone who joined us online.

This program organized by the Health And Development Consult has been highly beneficial. When it comes to healthcare, we must be willing to discuss and promote teamwork. We often forget that there are many individuals peripheral to the health sector who contribute to the success or challenges we face. I want to touch on the issue of shortchanging. If everyone in this country is a patriot, no one should engage in shortchanging practices, whether it's in drug procurement, vaccine standards, or any aspect of our healthcare system. There are individuals who manipulate the system for their own benefit, and it undermines the effectiveness of our healthcare system. If we are not patriotic and willing to

sacrifice for our country, we will encounter problems at every level. Teamwork is crucial, and it should be emphasized not only in healthcare but also in other professions. Technicians, Assistants, and various professionals contribute to the overall success of the healthcare system. Although the end result in healthcare is often a matter of life and death, it is essential that we come together to discuss and improve the system.

No system is perfect, and if there are flaws, it is our responsibility to address them collectively. Pharm. Abraham has dedicated 25 years to this cause, and it is important for younger, more agile individuals to continue his work and propel the system forward. This discussion will not end today, and we cannot expect to solve all the problems in one day. Physicians, laboratory technologists, physician assistants, and others all play a vital role, and it

takes the collaboration of 69 different professionals to save a child. If they work well together, more children will survive. If they don't, more children will perish. We must not blame just one profession, but rather recognize that all 69 professionals need to work harmoniously.

Pharm. Abraham has mentioned that there will be roundtable discussions, and this is a valuable opportunity to delve deeper into the issues raised today. By opening up this dialogue and continuing the discussions in the three roundtable sessions, we can pass on crucial information to the Minister.

Today has been a wonderful day, and I wish you all the best. Thank you.


Our esteemed chairman and my fellow comrade, we embarked on this journey together. You began as the keynote speaker, and today you continue to lead as the chairman. Tomorrow, I am certain we will have even more participants in a larger venue. Dear friends, although the maximum capacity of this venue is 150, please be aware that there are many more people joining us online, not only from Ghana but from around the world. The essence of our discussion extends beyond Ghana; it concerns all of humanity. We are talking about One Health, emphasizing that none of us are truly safe until all of us are safe.

As the chairman mentioned, this is not the end of the program. We have planned three expert roundtable meetings. These roundtable sessions will delve into teaching teamwork, determining what should be taught, identifying the individuals who should be trained, and selecting suitable locations for imparting the concept of teamwork. We invite all those present here and online to volunteer and actively participate in these programs. The ultimate goal is to compile a remarkable

report or book that can be disseminated worldwide. This publication will serve as a valuable resource for regulators, policymakers, and health professionals, highlighting our united stance, for the safety of everyone.

In the name of God, I express deep gratitude for making this day possible. I extend my thanks to each and every one of you. It is impossible to individually thank everyone, so please allow me to first acknowledge my chairman and the distinguished guests. Your presence has enriched this occasion. I am grateful that the remarkable ideas shared here will not be forgotten but rather documented and disseminated worldwide. We cannot thank you enough, and the world cannot thank you enough. We are honored to have you here, and through you, we humbly extend our appreciation to the esteemed board of trustees.

Ladies and gentlemen, I kindly request that wherever you are, let us come together and applaud our esteemed Patron. You not only graced this occasion but played a significant role in making it happen. I am glad that these exceptional ideas and experiences will not fade

away, as they will be documented and shared globally. We cannot express enough our gratitude, as the world cannot express enough gratitude. We are grateful that you are present here, and we respectfully extend our gratitude and thanks through you to His Royal Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene whose Foundation you serve as the Head of the Border of Trustee. Ladies and gentlemen, I kindly request that wherever you may be, join us in showing appreciation to our Patron.

Lastly, may God safely guide us back to our respective destinations. We look forward to reconvening in our specialized roundtable discussions, where the actual work will be conducted. On behalf of myself and the entire global community, as we will all benefit from the outcomes of this gathering, I express my heartfelt gratitude.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now, on the left-hand side, please collect your lunch packs and proceed as you wish.





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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has inaugurated the governing board of the Na�onal Vaccine Ins�tute (NVI) to develop policy direc�on and implementa�on for vaccine produc�on and manufacturing in Ghana.

At a separate event on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo also commissioned the NVI Secretariat at Cantonments in Accra to coordinate and facilitate ac�vi�es of vaccine produc�on and manufacturing in the country.

The NVI board has Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, Chairman; Prof William Kwabena Ampofo, Chief Execu�ve Officer and other members include Dr Baffour-Awuah, Mr Mustapha Tawiah Kumah; Dr Daniel Gyingiri Achel and Ms Fredrica Sala Illiasu.

The rest are Dr Delese Darko, Prof Alex Dodoo; Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye; Mr Kofi Nsiah-Poku; Prof Kofi Opoku N�; Prof Gordon A. Awandare and Prof Rita Akosua Dickson.

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony at the Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo explained that the vaccine na�onalism that played out by the developed world with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines meant that the government had to take urgent, cri�cal steps towards making sure never again would Ghanaians fall vic�m or pawns to interna�onal vaccine order.

He added that “We needed to

take our des�ny into our own hands.”

That, the President emphasised, was the reason for the establishment of a commi�ee, under the chairmanship of Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, to formulate a concrete plan of ac�on towards domes�c vaccine development and manufacturing.

That plan of ac�on, he explained, culminated in the announcement of the establishment, in July 2021, of the Na�onal Vaccine Ins�tute, with seed funding of $25 million from the European Investment Bank.

The Vaccine Ins�tute establishment forms part of the recommenda�ons of the Commi�ee set up by the government to formulate a concrete plan for vaccine development and manufacturing in Ghana.

The NVI mandate also is to coordinate and facilitate the capacity of DEKS Vaccines Ltd and other domes�c pharmaceu�cal companies to fill, finish and package mRNA COVID-19 and other vaccines such as those against malaria and tuberculosis.

In the short term of two years, DEKs Vaccines Ltd will fill, finish, and package COVID-19 and the other vaccines for those against malaria and tuberculosis.

And in the medium term, that is in five years, the target is to con�nue the establishment of more domes�c vaccine

manufacturing plants in the country to manufacture vaccines to meet WHO GMP standards.

The long-term target is to produce a candidate vaccine using innova�ve technologies.

While congratula�ng the Commi�ee, which is now turned into the Na�onal Vaccine Authority, President Akufo-Addo listed some noteworthy achievements of the Commi�ee.

They include the development of a roadmap for vaccine development and manufacturing in Ghana; support of the upgrade of Laboratory facili�es of the Food and Drugs Authority; interna�onal collabora�on with Rwanda, Senegal and the mRNA in Vaccine Technology Company, BioNTech SE, Germany.

Other achievements are the establishment of a Local vaccine manufacturing plant by Atlan�c Lifesciences, commissioned in April 2022 and the commencement of DEKs Vaccines Limited and the se�ng up of the Na�onal Vaccines Ins�tute and its Secretariat.

He said the competencies and experiences of the composi�on of the board demonstrate amply the necessity for thorough engagement and consulta�on for the successful implementa�on of the Ins�tute’s mandate.

“The task ahead of you is a challenging one, and it is my expecta�on and hopes that you would be up to it, the President told members of the board.

President Akufo-Addo assured the Board of “my full support to undertake all that is required to make our na�on a vaccine manufacturing hub not only in West Africa but also in the en�re African con�nent.”

The lack of a sustained supply of vaccines to fight against diseases in the country informed the establishment of the Na�onal Vaccine Ins�tute.

Ghana established the Expanded Program on Immunisa�on (EPI) in 1978, a�erwards, the programme received substan�al and technical support from GAVI, the vaccine alliance.

Currently, GAVI supports over 89 per cent of the cost of vaccines and vaccine delivery within the country.

However, Ghana has a�ained the lower middle-income country status and has to transit from GAVI’s support by 2027.

Consequently, Ghana has to be self-reliant, especially in the domes�c development and manufacturing of vaccines and sera.

The establishment of the Na�onal Vaccine Ins�tute, thus, is expected to opera�onalise the government’s vision of securing much-needed vaccines through domes�c development and manufacturing in the short and medium long term phases.





JUNE 27, 2023.

The 2023 Annual General Mee�ng and Scien�fic Conference of the Ghana College of Pharmacists (GCP) took place in Accra on June 27, 2023. It was held under the theme “Building Resilience into the delivery of Pharmaceu�cal Services”.

The Thema�c Speaker was Prof Frances Owusu-Daaku, Department of Pharmacy Prac�ce, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceu�cal Sciences, KNUST and Fellow of the Ghana College of Pharmacists. The Minister of Health, Hon. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu was ably represented by Hon. Tina Gi�y Naa Ayeley Mensah, Deputy Minister for Health as the Guest of Honour. Twelve (12) elected fellows and thirteen (13) members were inducted into the College.

Fourteen (14) out of nineteen (19) scien�fic abstracts were displayed as posters whiles five (5) were orally presented.

A�er extensive discussion of the theme and

Recalling the challenges experienced by pharmacists as a result of the stresses and strains placed on the delivery of pharmaceu�cal care during the COVI-19 pandemic;

Taking cognizance of the crucial role specialist pharmacists play in the a�ainment of Universal Health Coverage and the need to put in measures to enable them tackle everyday challenges and build resilience;

Being mindful of the importance of acquisi�on of so� skills as well as the cul�va�on of absorp�ve, adap�ve and transforma�ve strategies to enable the pharmaceu�cal sector bounce back in the face of challenges;

No�ng the need to for collabora�on between the College and other Health Agencies within and outside the country

No�ng also, the cri�cal role drug produc�on and quality assurance play in the pharmaceu�cal value chain

No�ng further the challenges of the College including, inadequate funds and lack of resources to enable effec�ve func�oning of

To engage with the Pharmacy Council on the involvement of the Ghana College of Pharmacists when applica�ons for promo�on to consultant and specialist pharmacist levels are brought before them.

To collaborate with ins�tu�ons outside for residency training and internships

To incorporate prac�cal components into all CPDs

To apply for research grants from some ins�tu�ons.

To send out quarterly reminders to members and fellows to se�le dues.

To come up with a promo�onal plan for the College, especially the Division of Public Health and Social and Administra�ve Pharmacy

Par�cipants further resolved:

To engage the vehicle assembly plan for partnership in our monitoring and accredita�on ac�vi�es through the acquisi�on of an official vehicle.



The story of Papa Kofi and his Family is narrated in such a way that it covers virtually all the pertinent issues of HIV prevention and the humane care for those infected and affected by the virus. The story and the information therein is presented in a format based on the traditional African concept of storytelling.The question and answer format in each chapter serves as a means of imparting knowledge, wisdom and skills in very simple language.

Every family needs to have a copy of this book. Junior and Senior High Schools, Colleges and Universities may adopt it as a textbook or reader, as this will be an investment in the protection and development of our youth, upon whom the present and the future largely depend. Managing Directors, Heads of corporate organisations, Institutions, NGOs, the Armed forces and Security Personnel are encouraged to make this book available to their management, staff, workers, officers and men. It will prevent the loss of trained and skilled manpower to HIV/AIDS thereby guaranteeing sustainable development.

Youth Associations and groups in churches, mosques, political parties and in the communities will find this book a useful aid in helping their members to stay away from HIV and AIDS.

All health personnel who have to deal with HIV and AIDS should keep a copy of FROM DESPAIR TO HOPE. Indeed, it should be required reading for students in our senior high schools. As teenagers growing up, they should have adequate knowledge about the disease so that they can lead healthy life-styles by avoiding the dangers of sexual promiscuity.

For bulk purchases and other inquiries about the book please email or Whatsapp us at +233 24 496 5843



© Abraham Gyesie 2019

ISBN: 978 – 9988 – 2 – 1731 – 0

Author: Abraham Gyesie


P. O. Box GP 2827, Accra Tel: + 233 (0) 24 496 5843


















This book reflects in most parts the existence of HIV in the Ghanaian context and we appreciate the Author for putting it together. It is recommended for reading by all, especially young people to increase their understanding of HIV infection, its transmission and management in simple everyday language.

I urge all to resolve not to get HIV infection by adopting preventive and positive lifestyles, provide a helping hand and avoid stigmatizing people who live with or affected by HIV. By this we will be healthier, together eliminate HIV from our country and make our communities a safer and better place to live.

With theme of the 2019 World AIDS Campaign declared as “Communities Make the Difference”, the publication of the book “From Despair To Hope – the HIV and AIDS Story of Papa Kofi and His Family” is timely. This book provides valuable information on prevention, treatment, care and support as well the experiences of a range of persons affected by HIV in a life-cycle approach. It is

the togetherness, social cohesion of communities and care and support among community members that bring hope, and lives can be saved in the midst of HIV infection.

I recommend that this story be told throughout communities in Ghana and beyond.

I am so excited about this book, From Despair To Hope: The HIV and AIDS Story of Papa Kofi and His Family. The book is so well written and easy to read. Those unfortunate children born with HIV through mother-to-child transmission will know from this book that they can reach their full potential just like any child of their age. Young people generally are at risk of

HIV infection and therefore should be conversant with the knowledge of Transmission, Treatment, Prevention and why they should not stigmatize people living with or affected by HIV.

This book is so easily readable that I highly recommend it to Ghana Education Service.

The Director General of Ghana AIDS Commission, Mr. Kyeremeh Atuahene. The Presidential Advisor on HIV AND AIDS, Amb. Dr. Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi. The Country Director For Ghana, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Mrs. Angela Trenton-Mbonde


Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa lamented the fact that “due to the Covid-19 pandemic all other pandemics and diseases appear to have been forgo�en and what be�er �me it is to launch a book that reminds us that HIV and AIDS have not le� our shores at all and that it behooves all of us to do everything necessary to hold it in check. All the adverts like “IF IT IS NOT ON, IT IS NOT IN” have stopped. Just about two weeks ago, I heard it in the news that about 18000 new cases of HIV have been recorded in Ghana proving

that HIV is quite devasta�ng in its own right.

This book FROM DESPAIR TO HOPE which is a woven story of a family’s predicament will help us to re-focus on HIV and AIDS. It will go a long way to educate us on how to stop this pandemic. We hope that there will be adequate publicity enough to make people realize that we are not out of the woods yet”.

The Hon. Minister for Health Hon Kwaku Agyeman Manu in his address as read by his Adviser Dr. Baafour Awuah stated that “I am honoured to be here today as you launch this book FROM DESPAIR TO HOPE and my sincere thanks go to the Author for invi�ng the Ministry of Health to be part of this launching ceremony. I congratulate the Author of this book, Mr. Abraham Gyesie for pu�ng together this detailed but simple educa�onal book on HIV and AIDS. This educa�onal book in a story form will be very useful to all age groups,

communi�es, ins�tu�ons and the general public at large. I am also glad that this book is being launched today to correct some of the wrong impressions we s�ll live with concerning HIV and AIDS. I want to assure the Author and all of us that the Ministry will support the dissemina�on of the contents of this book and also encourage the general public to get copies of this book, especially the educa�onal ins�tu�ons to get copies and sell or share with their students”.

Pharm. Yvonne Yirenchiwaa Esseku, Rector, Ghana College of Pharmacists stated that “Abraham Gyesie is a great guide into the o�en unknown and frequently misunderstood world of persons living with HIV and AIDS. In his very well researched book FROM DESPAIR TO HOPE, he sheds light on the varied impacts HIV and AIDS have on affected persons, their close rela�ons and the wider society. Abraham takes the readers through the various ways a person could be exposed to the virus, enlightening us on both the well-known and the not so easily apparent means of exposure.

He also delves into how parents, guardians and other adults with parental responsibility can guide and support their wards and other young people in their choices and decisions to stem the spread of the disease. There are also ac�vi�es to

facilitate the uptake of concepts discussed in the book which provide openings for discussing the contents in both formal and informal se�ngs.

FROM DESPAIR TO HOPE lives up to its name of providing hope in the midst of an apparently despondent situa�on; but, it also brings out the 7 difficult challenges and some�mes dire ac�ons taken as a result of societal rejec�on, s�gma�za�on and discrimina�on. The story is woven so as to provide a natural easy to relate with se�ng. Most of us will iden�fy with one character or the other. And most of us can u�lize the informa�on so clearly set out in the book to promote healthier choices and lead healthier lives. If you seek informa�on on HIV and AIDS, FROM DESPAIR TO HOPE is a must read.

Ghana Health, Service. Hon Kwaku Agyeman Manu Minister for Health Pharm. Yvonne Yirenchiwaa Esseku Rector, Ghana College of Pharmacists

FROM DESPAIR TO HOPE is not a dry, academic, textbook trea�se on HIV/AIDS. It is also not a simple Ques�on and Answer presenta�on of the facts about the disease. What Mr. Gyesie does is to adopt the format of a story. The story is principally about Kojo, a young man with a bright future but who destroys that future when he contracts the disease. In fact, the story is not about Kojo exclusively. It involves the family of Papa Kofi, whose son is Kojo. It takes in everybody else, even including the chief whose son commits suicide when he contracts the disease. In fact, it involves the whole village of Kuropapa, the imaginary village which provides the se�ng for the

In Chapter a�er Chapter, Mr. Gyesie takes the reader through the whole process: the discovery of the infec�on, the informa�on about the various

sexually-related diseases but with emphasis on HIV/AIDS, the counselling by the qualified health personnel, the availability of an�-retroviral drugs, and the decision of the Chief of Kuropapa to get involved in the campaign to educate the people on the infec�on.

The story format, the simplicity of the language and the choice of names for the characters make the book easy to read and the informa�on easy to absorb. All health personnel who have 11 to deal with HIV/AIDS should keep a copy of FROM DESPAIRTO HOPE. Indeed, it should be required reading by students in our senior high schools. All teenagers growing up should have adequate knowledge about the disease so that they can lead healthy life-styles by avoiding the dangers of sexual promiscuity.

Even as we make progress with treatment it is very necessary that we change the message to reinforce the need for adherence and I am very happy that this book in a very simple way captures the whole cascade of care from tes�ng to viral suppression and therefore it is very relevant today because the way it is presented makes it possible for everybody or anybody at all to understand and to appreciate it.

We will adopt it as one of the IEC material for behavioural change communica�on and training for service providers. We will also work with Ghana Educa�on Service. We have a School Health Programme and

there are various ini�a�ves that we can take advantage of in the Young and Adolescent Clubs so that this book can be disseminated through the educa�onal system. We are very happy and excited that there are a lot more children in school because of the Free SHS Programme so that this cap�ve audience will benefit from such a material. We will work with the Author and all other stakeholders to see how we can project this and make this book an everyday literature for people to u�lise in our quest to stop this pandemic in the shortest possible �me”.

For bulk purchases and other inquiries about the book please email or WhatsApp us at +233 24 496 5843 This book will soon be available in the bookshops.

Dr. Stephen Ayisi Addo, Programme Manager of the Natioanl AIDS/STIs Control Programme


“We hereby invite all who wish to contribute articles for publishing to do so in simple language, as far as practicable.

We do not publish original scientific papers. Articles may be submitted on any of the Sustainable Development Goals topics particularly those on health-related issues. We welcome articles on Teamwork for better healthcare delivery. Articles will be published at no charge to the contributors”.

Writers may include any of the following:

• All categories of Medical Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses, Midwives, Allied Medical Professionals, Health Workers, Policy Makers and Administrators, Public Health Practitioners, Professional Health Associations and their Regulatory Bodies and Councils.

• Health Training Institutions. Health Development Partners, Foundations,

Philanthropists and Investors. Ghana AIDS Commission. Food and Drugs Authority. Ghana Standards Authority. Representatives of UN Agencies. Programme Managers. Academia and Research Institutions. Country Managers and Representatives of Ethical Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Companies.

• Journalists, Interested Individuals, NGOs, FBOs and CSOs.

Please contact us via email at or WhatsApp us on +233 24 496 5843 for any further information

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