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SEND GHANA wants government to set aside a dedicated budget for Epidemic Preparedness

SEND GHANA, an NGO has called on the Ministry of Finance to set aside a dedicated budget to finance Epidemic Preparedness (EP) and the implementation of the National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS) and the Ghana Centre for Disease Control.

It said this would necessitate the adequate response to the threat of epidemics such as the ongoing COVID-19 and to ensure equitable and effective health care delivery in times of epi/pandemic outbreaks.

“Similarly, sustained and increased domestic financing for immunisation activities is essential in preventing disease among children, and a sure way of enabling Ghana to progressively and fully finance its immunisation services after Gavi support ends in 2027.”

Country Director, SEND GHANA George Osei-Bimpeh, in a release said the call formed part of proposals submitted to the Finance Ministry for consideration into the 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy collated from citizens on key sectors such as health, education, early childhood development, agriculture, gender and social protection.

He said for effective primary healthcare delivery, especially in rural areas, the government should ensure timely reimbursement of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) claims to service providers and facilities.

SEND Ghana said the Ministry must improve access and provide quality free and compulsory primary education for children by allocating a budget for the cost implementation plan for the Early Childhood Education (ECE) Policy Framework.

Mr Osei-Bimpeh said the government must further institute a deliberate mechanism that targeted women and vulnerable groups such as Persons With Disability and Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty beneficiaries for the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme while promoting their easy access to inputs.

Mr Osei-Bimpeh said it was the hope of SEND GHANA and its partners; Oxfam, USAID, UNICEF, African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC), International Budget Partnership (1BP), Global Health Advocacy Incubator that the inputs would be given the utmost consideration by the government adding that “we look forward to their reflection on the 2021 budget statement.”

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