Mr Braimah Abdulai Bukari, Chairman, Greater Accra Regional office, Coalition of NGOs in Health, has described as unacceptable the reported death of 240 people nationwide as a result of the cholera outbreak.
“This is unacceptably high considering that this number reflects an increase in the previous 190 deaths recorded since the cholera epidemic started in April this year,” he said.
Mr Bukari said this on Thursday during the annual Health Forum organised by the Coalition in Accra on the theme “Accelerating Universal Access to Health in the Post 2015 Development Framework: Reinforcing the Collaboration between CSOs and Government and other Stakeholders”.
He said since the outbreak of the disease, the number of affected districts had shot up from 114 to 121 in all the regions within a period of two weeks.
He expressed concern about the situation in Greater Accra as it had recorded 18,336 cases and 114 deaths in 16 districts despite the availability of all the necessary infrastructure and human resources.
He called for the formation of an “unbreakable syndicate” where there would exist mutual accountability between Government and civil society organisations (CSOs) in order to achieve set goals.
“We hope to use this platform to advocate a more robust action by Government to live up to its commitments towards accelerating the achievement of the health MDGs in the post 2015 development framework”, he said.
Mr Bukari called on Government to pay attention to neonatal, maternal and child health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, equity and human rights as well as the need for law reform and enforcement including gender equality to ensure universal access to comprehensive health services for all.
He said the Coalition was established in 2000 to coordinate activities of all registered non-governmental organisations/community based organisations (CBOs) in the health sector and has a membership of 180 registered CSOs.
Mr Bukari said the Coalition's objectives include the promotion of health sector research for sustainable health development, empowering member organisations to deliver standard public health services in communities, providing a forum for NGOs/CBOs in the health sector to carry out evidence based advocacy and campaign among other things.
He said the annual Civil Society Health Forum is intended to bring together CSOs and key stakeholders in the health sector to reflect on progress made in attaining the health related MDGs from civil societies’ perspective and also made policy recommendation to Government concerning the health sector.
He called for an effective partnership with Government in the fight against Ebola and the elimination of diseases such as cholera, HIV among other diseases.
Mr Kwasi Amenuvor, Project Director, Partners in Development, an NGO, expressed dissatisfaction with the high rate of cholera in the country in the 21st Century.
“It is sad to note that in this 21st century, due to filth, Ghana is still grappling with cholera which keeps claiming lives,” he said.
He noted that due to lack of proper structures, Sub Saharan Africa continue to account for two thirds of the world’s HIV population.
He called on CSOs to adhere to the code of ethics governing their work in other to earn the trust of stakeholders such as Government and donors.
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