Publication: World Bank study : A Health Sector in Transition to Universal Coverage in Ghana

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Ghana has come a long way in improving health outcomes and it performs reasonably well when compared to the other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). However, when its health outcomes are compared to other countries globally with similar incomes and health spending levels, its performance is more mixed. Ghana's health outcome performances, in terms of child health and maternal health, are worse than the levels found in other comparable lower middle income and health spending countries, but life expectancy is better. Ghana's demographic profile is changing, and demographic, epidemiological, and nutrition transitions are well underway. The dependency ratio is expected to be favorably affected by the expanding large numbers of individuals entering the labor force, while fertility albeit still high continues to decline. It is the right time for Ghana to take advantage of this potential demographic dividend. Taking appropriate steps to improve employment opportunities is critical or else the country will face economic pressures as well as political unrest. There is a funding shortage for public health goods. Many public health goods, such as immunization and family planning, are generally heavily subsidized, with tax or donor financing. However, Ghana has a low allocation of public funds to meet the demands for family planning commodities. The private sector has responded somewhat to this market failure by selling family planning commodities in private pharmacies, thereby increasing supply. Morbidity and mortality from communicable disease (CD) are highly prevalent in Ghana, and make up fifty three percent of the disease burden. Although, cost-effective interventions are offered, a significant proportion of morbidity and mortality is still CD related.
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Saleh, Karima. 2012. World Bank study : A Health Sector in Transition to Universal Coverage in Ghana. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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