The newly appointed World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative to Ghana, Dr Francis Kasolo, has presented his credentials to Minister-designate for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.
Dr Kasolo visited the Foreign Ministry in Accra on Monday, February 22, 2021, to present his credentials.
In remarks to receive the credentials, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey acknowledge Dr Kasolo’s predecessor, Dr. Neema Kimambo’s contributions in support of Government’s efforts to address various health issues in the country as well as deepening of Ghana’s partnership with the WHO.
She expressed the hope that Dr. Kasolo will further build on the established cooperation.
The Minister observed that Government attached immense importance to the health sector and has undertaken several initiatives such as the launch of Ghana’s drone service to improve healthcare, by rapidly delivering emergency and essential vaccines, life-saving medications, and blood products, especially in hard-to-reach areas.
According to her, the services provided by the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) have improved significantly under this government.
She lauded the phenomenal leadership role of the WHO in combatting health crises including the current COVID-19 pandemic.
She also praised the collaborative efforts of the WHO and the World Food Programme (WFP) in the establishment of the United Nations COVID-19 Field Hospital in Accra, as part of the United Nations Global Humanitarian Response Plan for the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ghana’s acceptance to host the Field Hospital is a demonstration of its commitment to join hands with the global community to tackle emerging health challenges,” she said, noting that
“with satisfaction the excellent collaboration between the Ministry of Health and the WHO in the manning of the Field Hospital and express appreciation for opportunities for knowledge transfer and capacity-building.”
She stated that Government’s immediate action was focused on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for the population and urge the WHO to assist in that regard.
She invited the WHO Representative to share with her the arrangements the WHO has put in place to help developing countries get access to the vaccines.
Meanwhile, she noted with concern the reported cases of Ebola in some African countries, particularly, the Republic of Guinea and indicate that this will impose additional burden on the limited resources that the affected countries would have to effectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
She recalled Ghana’s leadership role in the fight against Ebola in the sub-region in the recent past and disclose that Ghana stands prepared to support regional and global efforts to stop the spread of Ebola.
The Minister-designate reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to international cooperation and multilateralism and the willingness to support the WHO and other international organisations in their efforts to address emerging health issues.
By Melvin Tarlue