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Ghana Healthcare Advances Sexual, Reproductive Care Plan

by Adenike Adeodun

In a bid to fortify the management of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services during crises, an assessment workshop was convened in Tema, Greater Accra Region. The spotlight was on the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for SRH. This initiative prioritises immediate actions during the first 48 hours of an emergency, targeting a reduction in SRH-related mortality and morbidity.

MISP’s key pillars aim to address sexual violence, reduce HIV and other STI occurrences, lower maternal and newborn health issues, and prevent unintended pregnancies. Moreover, it plans for the integration of comprehensive SRH services into primary healthcare.

The three-day workshop witnessed participation from representatives spanning government institutions, the UN, civil society organisations, and other stakeholders engaged in SRH and disaster management. This initiative received support from the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service, and the UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

Prof. Stephen Kwankye, consultant for the MISP Readiness Assessment, highlighted that this gathering was a step towards equipping the government to roll out the MISP during emergencies. It’s crucial for the nation to understand its present preparedness level and formulate a focused action plan, strengthening health systems for optimal SRH responses during emergencies.

Stressing the importance of MISP, Prof. Kwankye stated, “It encompasses the SRH services pivotal in curbing morbidity while preserving the right to life with dignity during humanitarian challenges.”

According to a report by Graphic Online, Dr. Wilfred Ochan, UNFPA’s Resident Representative, acknowledged Ghana’s commendable strides in the SRH sector. He underlined the challenges posed by regional refugee influxes and the adverse effects of climate change, emphasising the non-negotiable nature of reproductive health needs, even in emergencies.

Dr. Kofi Issah of the Family Health Division, GHS, pointed to past reactive measures during emergencies. He hopes the new policy, shaped post-assessment, will champion the proactive delivery of vital reproductive health services during unforeseen events.

Closing remarks by Dr. Divine Atupra, UNFPA Consultant, underscored the objective of rapid assessment. It aims to offer a clear picture of both national and regional readiness to ensure access to pivotal SRH services, as detailed in the MISP.

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