The Volta Region has become host to the fourth Public Health Emergency Operations Centre (PHEOC) in the country.
The center, established with the support of the US and Republic of Korea, under the Global Health Security Agenda, would enhance technical coordination of the Region’s public health response structures in disease outbreak management.
Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said at a ceremony to officially open the Centre, that the infrastructure, which came under the Government’s enhanced strategy to improve emergency health response, would further advance the nation’s pandemic preparedness.
He said the first three, located at Sekondi, Tamale and Kumasi, had been active in tracking outbreaks of viruses including the coronavirus, and the monkey pox, and thus helped affirm the need to expand the structure nation-wide.
The Director General said the center would also, importantly, conduct media scans to track public responses and outlooks related to public health emergencies, and help enhance targeted communication.
He urged stakeholders in the Region to ensure effective use of the facility.
“It should be operational even in peace time so we can be able to stay ahead of the curve”
Dr. Daniel Baradas, the Global Health Security Director of the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said the operations Centre counted among commitments under the global health security initiative, and would be instrumental in coordination and response.
He said the establishment would help strengthen multi-sectorial collaboration to manage disease outbreaks, and that stakeholders would help develop management manuals and other resources.
“The WHO and partners would continue to provide the needed support,” the Director said.
Tony Ao, Rep. of the US Ambassador said it was part of a sustainable agenda to strengthen disease response, and that the US’s collaboration within the health sector would be maintained.
Lim Jung Taek, Korean Ambassador, said the Country had committed 10 million dollars to the second phase of the global health security agenda, which is being promoted by 70 countries across the globe.
He said ten additional PHEOCs would be established in the country.
The Korean Government has allotted a total of 200 million dollars to the Korea International Corporation Agency (KOICA) to support health initiative across the African Continent.
Moo Heon Kong, KOICA Country Director said the opening of the Centre marked another milestone to achieving health security, and that the “The US and Korea would collaborate to work together to create a more catalytic partnership”.
Dr Senanu Djokoto, Ag. Regional Director of Health Services, said the Region considered the establishment of the Centre a feather in the hat for its role in managing the coronavirus pandemic, and commended the efforts of the Volta Regional Minister.
He assured that the facility would be given the need support and would be promoted as a data driven resource for public health monitoring.
Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, the Regional Minister, said the location of the Region carried threats and benefits, and made it the first line of health defense in the country.
He therefore commended the Government for providing its fair share of health interventions including nine of the ambitious district hospital initiative, the Agenda 111.
The Regional Minister was also confident the commissioning of the Centre “would further strengthen capacity to enhance public health response in the Volta Region”.
Stakeholders after the commissioning took a tour of the Centre, which is a state-of-the-art high-tech facility.
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