- Health Care / ICT
In 2014 the Ghanaian government launched the Diaspora Affairs Bureau within Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. This was a landmark achievement on the part of the Government of Ghana, which then had formalized the engagement of the Ghanaian diaspora for effective migration management and national development planning. There are an estimated three million Ghanaians living in the diaspora. The majority live in neighboring African countries and the largest concentration of Ghanaian migrants outside the region are found in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Bureau builds upon the success of the Ministry’s Diaspora Support Unit (DSU), established in 2012 with the support of IOM Development Fund (IDF).The DSU was established as part of a national diaspora engagement project to provide a sustainable link between the Ghanaian diaspora and various government agencies to achieve development and investment goals.
Objectives of the Diaspora Affairs Bureau include the creation of a diaspora database, engagement of diaspora for national development, awareness campaigns. As well as, research and coordination with migration and development stakeholder’s sources of information – particularly relating to business registration and information about investment opportunities. During TRQN III, IOM facilitated several assignments to the Diaspora Affairs Bureau to assist in Diaspora mapping exercises.
During TRQN III, IOM facilitated over 50 assignments to Ghana in the field of Health care, ICT in relation to Health Care, Diaspora policy and food security. The interventions were built upon many learnt lessons, and best practices that were identified throughout the IOM’s MIDA Ghana Health project that facilitated over 300 assignments between 2006 and 2012.
During TRQN III, Ghanaian Diaspora ICT experts assisted in the digitalization of 3 hospitals which resulted in the introduction of tele medicine, digital patient files and the establishment of effective information management systems that are used for human resources management, procurement and financial management. BBC world made a short documentary on the aforementioned, which was screened in November 2015 to their worldwide viewers.
Sectors and Objectives for next phase
During the follow up program of TRQN III, IOM intends to consolidate the achievements made so far by sustaining and leveraging the impacts of previous assignments. This will be done through: the provision of (virtual) assignments, training and coaching. As well as through the creation of training manuals, the sharing of expertise between beneficiary institutions, and the implementation of a knowledge management framework for relevant stakeholders.
GHANA IOM intends to continue its investments in the following areas:
ICT in Relation to Health Care
In Ghana the digitalization process of the Tamale Teaching Hospital (University hospital and Cape Coast hospital (university Hospital) has been finalized. The Hospitals are using the Health management information system (Hams) for proper management of the hospital, resulting in proper digital patient files and a more manageable environment. This leads to better financial management, effective procurement policy, less corruption, better client services and new innovative patient services, such as telemedicine, tele diagnostics etc… . Further investment in these hospitals will include training and coaching on specific themes such as: ICT policy frameworks, tailored training with regard to e.g configuration servers / firewalls / telemedicine.
Some of the assignments mentioned above will be achieved through virtual means.
Efforts will be made to consolidate and further develop the digitalization processes started at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (biggest hospital in Ghana), the Sunyani Teaching Hospital, The Kumasi Teaching Hospital and several Christian Mission Hospitals. For the above, we aim to set-up a knowledge management platform for the relevant stakeholders to share best practices amongst each other. IOM intends to facilitate interregional exchanges between hospitals in the are of the aforementioned themes.
An effort will be made to connect the Patient files databases of three hospitals, namely the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, The Tamale Hospital and the cape coast hospital and thus creating a beginning of a national patient database.
Because of the cost of internet connections in the region, IOM will – together with its partners – explore alternative options such as the more affordable Satellite interne, in order to make the digitalization processes an attainable objective for all hospitals.
We will consolidate our cooperation with the Agricultural polytechnic in Sunyani region and local farmer cooperation(s). The aim is to contribute to the creation of jobs as well as to the enhancement of the quality/quantity of food production in Ghana. This includes developing the food security sector through improving the food security value chain. These interventions will include amongst other cooperation with Ghanaian agricultural engineers, and the University of Delft.
Medical Health specialist
IOM intends to consolidate those assignments that made the biggest impact, e.g the assignment of Dr Pepera on the screening of cervical cancer that involves the creation of curricula for future doctors in the field of Cervical cancer screening and treatment.
This project will continually build strong partnerships with The Diaspora Affairs Bureau (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration)in order to build technical support to the Government of Ghana with regards to the development of National Diaspora Engagement Policy. In the field of health care, IOM will work with The Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Services and Christian Health Association of Ghana in order to address training and human resource gaps identified in health sector training and clinical care institutions through varied needs assessments and evaluations.
In the field of agriculture IOM will partner with The Dutch University of Delft, The AfroEuro Foundation and the Ghanaian Ministry of Agriculture.