Mr Alex Segbefia, the Minister of Health, has said good management and strong leadership were the prerequisites for increasing efficiency and effectiveness of health services.
Mr Segbefia said health managers required skills in time management, team work and decision making, as well as staff motivation, human and financial resource management, and monitoring and evaluation to raise the quality of health care in Africa.
The Health Minister made the statements in Accra, at the opening ceremony of a week’s Management Development Training programme, organised for managers of health care organisations in West Africa.
The 38 participants were drawn from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon.
The training was to provide the various Ministries of Health with the requisite management and leadership capacity to implement their national health priorities.
The programme was hosted by Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in collaboration with the University Of California (UCLA), the Anderson School of Management in US, and funded by Johnson and Johnson, a manufacturer of health products.
Mr Segbefia said while governments made efforts to ensure the well-being of citizens, numerous diseases such as diarrhoea, high infant mortality, environmental sanitation, and acute respiratory infections undermined their efforts.
The Minister urged the participants to strive for the best and use the knowledge acquired at the end of the training to cause a change in their various countries for improved health care delivery in their respective countries.
Professor Franklyn Manu, the Rector of GIMPA, welcomed the participants and stressed that one major cause of setback in the health sector in Africa was ineffective management.
Prof Manu said the training programme, was therefore, timely because it would address some of the challenges in the health sector and enhance the capacities of participants to improve health delivery in West Africa.
Mr Rene Kiamba, the Manager of Sub-Saharan Africa Corporate Contributions at Johnson and Johnson, said their outfit was delighted to fund the programme because it focused on making life-changing, long-term differences in human health by targeting the world’s major health-related issues.
Prof Miguel Unzueta, the Associate Professor for Management and Organizations at UCLA, said the University would put in the needed management strategies in the programme to improve health delivery in the various countries.
He said the course, which include Financial Management, Social Marketing, and Human Resource Management, was tailored to shape the knowledge of participants to handle management challenges in their health sector. GNA