Promoting Health Sector Accountability and Ensuring Vaccine Equity Distribution in Ghana 

Health workers at Somanya Polyclinic

Promoting Health Sector Accountability and Ensuring Vaccine Equity Distribution in Ghana 

By Jennifer A. Moffatt

A core part of BudgIT Ghana’s work is promoting health sector accountability. We want to see a society where citizens have access to quality healthcare, an appropriate allocation of resources, and fiscal transparency in the health sector. We work with the Open Government Partnership, the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service, Civil Society organisations, citizens, and Health Service providers to garner support for health sector accountability in Ghana. We undertook the COVID-19 Accountability and Transparency Project (CTAP) to ensure the efficient use of resources donated to curtail the pandemic and drive a campaign to create awareness for vaccine equity. 

What is Health Sector Accountability? 

Health sector accountability refers to the responsibility and transparency of healthcare systems in delivering quality services and ensuring optimal health outcomes. In Ghana, accountability is vital for building public trust, improving service delivery, and achieving sustainable healthcare goals. The COVID-19 outbreak has emphasised the need for a robust accountability system to handle health emergencies and crises effectively.

To strengthen health sector accountability, Ghana has implemented various strategies. First and foremost, the government has focused on enhancing transparency and governance in healthcare institutions. These strategies include rigorous monitoring and evaluation processes, financial audits, and the establishment of mechanisms to investigate and address corruption or malpractice.

Additionally, Ghana has prioritised community engagement and participatory approaches. By involving citizens in decision-making processes, the government ensures that the needs and concerns of the population are considered. This includes fostering partnerships with civil society organisations, promoting dialogue, and encouraging public feedback and accountability mechanisms.

Why Vaccine Equity Distribution?

Vaccine equity distribution ensures fair and equitable access to vaccines, regardless of socioeconomic status, geographic location, or other demographic factors. It is crucial to counter the disparities hindering Ghana’s efforts to achieve widespread immunisation coverage against COVID-19.

Ghana has taken significant steps towards achieving vaccine equity by implementing comprehensive strategies for vaccine distribution. The government has collaborated with international organisations, like COVAX, to access vaccines and ensure their fair distribution across the country. As a part of this effort, they have prioritised vulnerable populations, including healthcare workers, older adults, and individuals with underlying health conditions. In addition, Ghana has set up vaccination centres in urban and rural regions to provide convenient access to all residents. The authorities have collaborated with community leaders, healthcare professionals, and local entities to encourage vaccine adoption and alleviate doubts or reluctance.

We must applaud the government’s initiatives to achieve accountability in the health sector and ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines. However, it needs to do more to address the numerous challenges, such as limited resources, infrastructure gaps, and public mistrust. BudgIT recommends increased collaboration with stakeholders, including Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) such as BudgIT Ghana and international agencies, including the Open Government Partnership, to achieve shared goals. Strengthening accountability mechanisms ensures transparency and promotes citizen participation in decision-making processes. Accountability Mechanisms will foster trust and confidence in the healthcare system, improving health outcomes.

To achieve vaccine equity distribution, Ghana should continue to reach remote areas, improve public education campaigns, and address vaccine hesitancy. Incorporating Influential Figures such as Religious leaders, political figures, and Celebrities in the messaging for the Public Relations campaign for the vaccine would be a highly beneficial strategy to enhance its effectiveness. It is also vital to strengthen collaborations with international partners to ensure a consistent supply of vaccines and prevent future shortages. To achieve vaccine equity distribution, Ghana should continue its efforts to reach remote areas, improve public education campaigns, and address vaccine hesitancy to ensure a consistent supply of vaccines and prevent future shortages.

BudgIT Ghana developed a Health Sector Accountability Report to guide health sector policy reform. We also engaged the Open Government Partnership in a bid to include the report in the Fifth National Action Plan. Strengthening our healthcare systems requires a collaborative effort from all stakeholders to safeguard and promote citizens’ well-being, drive economic growth, ensure social equity, and respond to emergencies. It is a strategic investment with profound benefits for individuals, communities, and the country as a whole. We remain committed to redefining the path to a healthier, more accountable future for Ghana’s citizens.


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