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South Korea donates 45 motor bikes to Ghana health service


imageThe Northern Regional Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has received 45 brand new AG motorcycles, worth 4.5 million U.S. dollars from the government of Korea in partnership with UNICEF.

The bike donation is to help the directorate improve the quality of new-born care and education in the region. The partnership was under the GHS and KOICA Human Development through Life Cycle Approach Project in the northern and Upper East regions.

The Upper East Regional Health Directorate also took delivery of 30 bikes to improve new-born care. New-born care, according to the two partners, is vital and the bikes are expected to complement the trained and skilled health workers within the hospital to provide the best health care for newborns.

The Korean ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Woon-Ki Lyeo, accompanied by Korean International Corporation Agency (KOICA) and UNICEF country representatives, presented the bikes to the Northern Regional Director of the GHS, Dr. Jacob Mahama in Tamale.

The Korean Ambassador said Ghana is among countries in the sub-Saharan Africa which have made substantial achievements in the millennium development goals in the past decade. Ghana, Mr Woon-Ki Lyeo noted, has worked with its development partners such as KOICA and stressed that strong leadership from government is needed to enhance the well-being of the vulnerable in communities.

UNICEF commitment on New-born care

The UNICEF Country Representative, Susan Namondo Ngongi was optimistic that the bikes will facilitate the movement of community health nurses to improve healthcare delivery in the region. UNICEF, she said, wants to see to it that every child has the right to the best possible start in life.

Ms. Ngongi said that almost half of all deaths of children under five occurr within the five first months of life. Though on one hand it means good news because there was progress, on the other hand, it means no interventions specifically are directed at newborns, Ms. Namondo noted.

According to her when children die early, parents lose confidence and they thus tend to have much larger families than they would otherwise if they were confident that the likelihood of their children reaching adulthood was extremely high, Ms. Namondo observed.

Besides making the motor bikes donation, UNICEF and KOICA  also established two newborn care units in two districts in the region and in one district in the upper east region. In addition, the donors established two newborn care centers at the Tamale Teaching Hospital and at the Bolgatanga Hospital for job training and the learning new-born health.

Ms. Namondo reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to improving conditions of birth and the environment in which the child spends the first few years of its life.The project, she explained seeks to support child development from birth to adolescence within the health and education aspects of development.

UNICEF’s intervention, Ms. Namondo said, followed worrying statistics on newborn deaths which have not changed in the last ten years.  Over 48% of deaths of children under 5 in Ghana was recorded in the period.

Regional health director grateful

The Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Jacob Mahama was grateful to the partners for the support and assured them that the bikes will be used for the intended purpose.

Dr. Mahama in an interview with Zaa News said the bikes will help health personnel provide healthcare to new-born babies and also help in 13 selected districts of the region where the project is being implemented.

According to Dr. Mahama the vast size of the northern region makes it difficult for nurses to provide much needed healthcare. Every newborn, he said, will now get a visit from a nurse, all this to ensure that the babies survive beyond five years.

The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Abdallah Abubakari believes the motor bikes will contribute significantly towards the achievement of government’s agenda in improving quality healthcare for the people of Ghana.

He charged the health director to ensure that bikes are not misused because as he put it, they have been entrusted to people who cannot defend themselves for which reason the bikes should be used properly and protected for many newborn babies for years to come.

Posterity, the minister noted, will not forgive those who misuse the bikes.

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