The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), has presented medical equipment and ambulances to the Ministry of the Health to assist in health care delivery as well as strengthen Ghana’s Immunisation Programme.
The gesture was in fulfilment of an agreement signed between the Japanese Government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in 2020, under the Economic and Social Development Programme for the provision of medical equipment to support Ghana to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
The equipment included 16 units of refrigerated cargo trucks, a Walk-in cold room freezer with a power generator, Thermography, a CT Scanner, two units of Water Tankers and six units of Ambulances, six units of direct digital X-ray machines with accessories.
Mr Hisanobu Mochizuki, the Japanese Ambassador at the handing-over ceremony said Japan placed great emphasis on strengthening partnership with Ghana in the areas of health, which he believed was one of the ways of making Universal Health Coverage (UHC) a reality.
He said, “I believe these support and partnership are simply a reflection of the extraordinary alliance and deep friendship between the two countries.”
Mr Mochizuki encouraged the Health Ministry and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to put the equipment into proper use and ensure maintenance for the benefit of Ghanaians.
Ms Suziki Momoko, a Representative from JICA said the universal access to relevant vaccines for children against common vaccine-preventable diseases was crucial in reducing infant and child mortality.
Ms Momoko said JICA was highly connected with the Ministry’s objective of building a resilient health system with immunization as a critical component of the primary health care strategy and a catalyst towards the attainment of universal health coverage.
“The Government of Japan through JICA will continue to extend critical support to step up the Ministry’s effort to revamp routine immunization to reach the tens of thousands of children and their mothers, who missed out on essential vaccination, restore vaccination to pre-pandemic levels and strengthen the overall Expanded Programme on Immunization,” she added.
Mr Kweku Agyeman Manu, Health Minister, appreciated the Japanese Government’s support towards strengthening the Ghanaian healthcare system.
He said the country had benefited from the long and successful relationship with the Government of Japan, which dated back several years through technical assistance, grant aid and donation of equipment and commodities.
Mr Agyeman Manu noted that the goal and objective of attaining UHC and called for deliberate investment into various aspects of the health system.
“We therefore re-emphasise the importance of all these investments from the Government of Japan towards accelerating implementation and attainment of our Universal Health goals especially in improving access to quality health services in Ghana,” the Minister said.
He noted that donations would contribute towards the improvement of the health system and pledged to efficiently utilise the resources to achieve the health goals.
Dr Patrick Kuma Aboagye, Director General, GHS, recognised the effort of the Japanese Government in their continuous effort to support the sector, saying the donation of the equipment would facilitate the attainment of universal health coverage, particularly the provision of vaccines for children.