The Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide free medical screening services to 490,000 newly admitted free Senior High School candidates who will be enrolled this year.
Speaking on Radio Univers’ Campus Exclusive show, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare said the initiative was undertaken last year after government rolled out the free Senior High School policy and hence a continuation of the policy this year even though the number of students to be screened this year has increased.
“Last year, we started working with Ghana Education Service to screen medically all the first year students; about 294,000 of them. We have a few to mop up this year and then complete it” he explained
Dr. Asare elucidated that the health screening will serve as a great prospect to have a detailed record keeping of health problems of student right from when they are admitted through adulthood.
“The most important thing is that we are doing this medical screening and then put it on a database so that we will know what is wrong with a student when he is enrolled in the first year, check their physical education, do some lab investigation and then this year we are going to continue and take a chest X-rays of all of them to detect if there is any abnormality with them. And then once we do that, we can then follow them up to adulthood”
According to him, there are plans to align SHS in the country with the various health facilities across the nation. This he believed will aid students to get access to proper healthcare in instances where their school’s infirmaries and sick-bays are not well resourced to deal with the health condition of the patient.
“Going forward, we want to also align schools with health facilities so that they activate their sick-bays. We want every boarding house to have a functional sick-bay or infirmary where her facility which has been aligned to the school can take full control over it so that the children can now move directly when they have a problem to the health facilities”
Dr. Anthony Nsia-Asare also added that his outfit is working assiduously with other relevant bodies to ensure that sickbays at the various SHS are of the best shape to treat sick students
“We (GHS) together with the GES shall assist those (schools) to look at the infirmaries and then also improve all the infirmaries…. So we will work together with the GES, the parent teachers association and then even the old boys and old girls associations to improve the infirmaries of the various schools” he assured.
Dr. Nsiah-Asare maintained that the GES is resolved to ensure that infirmaries in the various schools are linked directly with the public health facilities in the country.
He stressed that in areas where government health facilities are absent, plans have been initiated to bring on board private hospitals to align with the infirmaries of such schools as a means to make appropriate health care a priority in schools across the nation.
“…in where we do not have any public facility available, we shall also talk and then arrange with any private health facility. We are also using the Christian Health Association of Ghana in writing to them and then we will also talk to them. We work together with them so I am sure that anywhere there is an SHS especially a boarding SHS, at least there will be the nearest health facility which can take care of them”
Story by: David Quaye/universnewsroom