President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced plans to set up the Ghana Centre for Disease Control (GCDC) to spearhead efforts to combat infectious diseases across the country.
The Centre will be preceded by the establishment of three infectious disease control centers for each of the country’s zones namely Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern.
The President revealed this on Sunday when he presented his eighth update since Ghana recorded its first two cases of coronavirus.
“We will establish three infectious disease control centers for each of the zones of our country, i.e. Coastal, Middle Belt and Northern, with the overall objective of setting up a Ghana Centre for Disease Control,” President Akufo-Addo said.
The Centre, when established, will be the second in West Africa after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, with the mandate to detect, prevent and respond to infectious disease outbreaks and public health emergencies.
The exact time frame for setting up the Centre is not known but it forms part of the government’s plans to address the lapses in the healthcare delivery system after what the President described as years of neglect.
Lapses in healthcare delivery system
There are currently six out of the 16 regions in the country that do not have a regional hospital. Also, some existing hospitals such as the Effia Nkwanta hospital are in poor states needing repair works.
In line with this, the President said his government will be constructing a total of 88 standard design 100 bed hospitals across the country.
The construction of six new regional hospitals will similarly be undertaken all within a year, President Akufo-Addo told Ghanaians.
“We are going to beef up our existing laboratories,” the President added.