Maiden West Africa International Health Summit opens in Accra

The maiden West Africa International Health Summit which is expected to transform West Africa health care system, especially Ghana’s health sector given the opportunities for technology transfer has opened in Accra.

The three days summit which is currently on-going at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) IS on the theme: “Collaborating through networking and technology for improved healthcare in Africa”.

Addressing participants at the opening ceremony yesterday, Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament Prof Mike Aaron Oquaye bemoaned the non- collaboration among African countries in the delivery of quality healthcare.

Prof Oquaye has therefore appealed to African Union (AU) to champion medical collaborations between member states to ensure quality health service to citizens of member countries.

Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament also charged participants to formulate ways of harnessing the potential of herbal medicines in meeting the needs of Africans.

“Raising the quality of the human factor is very…very important and we should be able to respond at all levels of medical practice. I trust that there will be a shift in paradigm in such a way that at the ECOWAS level, in fact, generally at the AU level medicine will become more of collaborative efforts whereby operations can be carried out with a long distance approach rather than always with a doctor one-on-one,” Prof Oquaye said.

He further explained that in terms of herbal medicine development, it is an area that of course, health professionals of member states must take a second look at to serve as an alternative to orthodox medicine.

Prof Oquaye maintained plants are the essence of what we may call medicine or drug. At the same time as we have the plants unless they are properly developed, labeled, classified in a way whereby dosage can be determined with reasonable ease as well as easy to employ or apply.

“As we meet on an occasion like this it will be most useful for us to consider ways and means of improving local herbal medicine, developing standards, developing ways and measures so that at the final analysis we should be able to benefit maximally from the practical aspects of local or native medicine.”

Speaking in an interview with the media, the Convener of the Summit, Dr Charles Dwanena said the health summit present a huge platform for health professionals, hospital leaders, and policy makers across borders to meet and share practical experiences and current best practices in healthcare whiles at the same time provide the opportunity for these leaders and decision makers to interface with manufacturers as well as suppliers of the latest healthcare technologies, products, equipment and services.

He emphasized that the summit will afford the over 45 health ministers directors from Africa to discuss, explore ways to enhance cooperation and collaboration between hospitals and healthcare facilities in Africa.

Again the summit will help match hospital leader decision makers and healthcare stakeholders to relevant health financiers, service providers, manufacturers and suppliers of new technologies and products for improved healthcare in Africa. Dr Dwanena noted.

“The West Africa International Health Summit is designed in a way that promotes intra-Africa healthcare collaboration through Telemedicine and other technologies for improved healthcare, promote exchange of ideas and expertise among healthcare professionals and also promote Ultrasound Medicine in Africa” Dr Dwanena announced.

He mentioned that the event will be used to give practical training sessions and workshops in the latest cutting-edge technologies by renowned experts from across the globe.

Dr Dwanena hinted that the summit was been used as a springboard to showcase Ghana’s excellent medical facilities to the rest of the world to promote medical tourism.

The maiden summit is hosting 691 manufacturers and suppliers, and over 30 sessions in various disciplines ranging from health finance, health management and administration, Telemedicine, UN SDGs, Public Health, nursing, herbal medicine, diagnostics, interventional  ultrasound, etc.

Story: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH

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