The government will work to improve the health sector of the Upper West Region by increasing the number of personnel and completing the new regional hospital, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced.

Interacting with religious leaders in the region during his two-day tour of Upper West, the President said he was committed to completing the new regional hospital to bring top quality health services to the people of the region.

The hospital was started under the previous government and was scheduled to be operational by the close of March this year.

The finalhandover from the contractors to the government is, however, yet to take place, with a few fittings still being fixed.

Responding to an appeal by the Bishop of the Wa Diocese of the Catholic Church, Most Rev. Kuuia Bawobr, on behalf of the religious leaders, the President said the Ministry of Health was determined to bring the hospital project “to a completion as rapidly as possible”.

He indicated that also of priority to his government was the strengthening of the number of health workers in the region.

“We are trying to create conditions in the health service that will motivate our young people to rediscover their mission as health workers,” he said.

Those health professionals include medical doctors and nurses, whose numbers across the region is by far the lowest in the country.

Challenges of free SHS

In another development, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo called on parents and students to be patient as the government addressed the challenges associated with the implementation of the Free Senior High School Policy.

He said the relevant institutions were working to resolve the problems that had bedevilled the implementation of the policy at the onset in order to reap its full benefits.

In an interaction with Wa Naa, Naa Fuseini Pelpuo II, as he rounded up his tour of the Upper West Region last Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo said: “Education is the most important thing we can do for the population.

“I am looking for the support of the chiefs and all the people to make sure the free SHS works.”

The assurance was a reaffirmation of his earlier pledge to the people of Nandom, whom he told during a virtual rally last Tuesday that he was not oblivious to the challenges facing the government’s Free SHS Policy.

Issues relating to lack of adequate infrastructure, in particular, and the computerised placement system appeared to subtract greatly from whatever gains were envisaged in the implementation of the policy as parents and students lamented their litany of ordeals at the re-opening of school in September.

However, President Akufo-Addo also announced that students who failed to gain admission this time round would have the opportunity of writing the exams again to be able to benefit from the policy.

Food and jobs

The President told Wa Naa he was encouraged by feedback from the planting for food and jobs programme of the government, and asked for public support to ensure that “planting for food and jobs goes down well and works”.

He, however, warned potential saboteurs to resist the temptation.

“But whenever something good is happening, there are always a few greedy evil people who try to sabotage it for their own personal interest,” he said.

“Some of the people try to smuggle our subsidised fertiliser intended to improve production into neighbouring countries.

“Any such person found should be made to face the full rigours of the law,” he insisted.

He sought the support of the traditional rulers to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to make sure that the practice stopped.

Speaking through an interpreter, Naa Fuseini Pelpuo pledged his support towards the policies of the government to ensure the progress of the people.

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