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Dr. Justice Ofori Amoah, a top health consultant, says a pandemic, Covid-19 if you like, is similar to a robbery – it is always ahead of us and the only way to get the better of it is to by being prepared for it.
A member of the Governing Body of Allied Health Professions Council, Ministry of Health, Guyana, Dr. Amoah supports the healthcare system by administering and regulating allied health programs, monitoring allied health centres, and facilitating the professional development of practitioners.
He is also an independent consultant for Ajinomoto Health & Nutrition North America, in Ghana, where he improves child nutrition.
Dr. Amoah, who has completed his PhD in public health at Texila American University (TAU), manages 14 health facilities in the district.
Dr. Amoah says Texila had a rich and flexible curriculum and experienced co-students who motivated him a lot.
“The fee payment is flexible and the education affordable.”
“Besides sharing cultural knowledge, we made valuable friendships and benefited from highly qualified and dedicated mentors,” says Dr. Amoah, who was involved in the immunisation drive as part of the World Health Organization.
“It is a broad range of activities where I head a team tasked with identifying communicable diseases like cholera, malaria and diarrhea, and disease unique to Guyana like the Buruli ulcer.”
Buruli ulcer is a chronic disease that affects the skin and sometimes the bone. If untreated, it can cause permanent disfigurement or disability.
“A crucial part of my role is to work towards prenatal and postnatal well-being, along with auditing maternal mortality, to get a clear picture of the situation,” says Dr. Amoah.
We have installed community-based surveillance to improve the standards of hospitals and health centres and ensure their quality, he says.
As a public health professional, one of the critical tasks for Dr. Amoah was to generate awareness about diseases in a country that had to fight a scabies outbreak while battling Covid-19.
“Following the pandemic outbreak, we coordinated efforts to do daily test sampling and disease investigation.
While the immediate and critical response to Covid-19 is wearing a mask, sanitizing hands, and adhering to social distancing norms, the government’s long-term measures would be adequate vaccination, achieving herd immunity, and effective policy-making to protect the people.
Immunization programmes are a crucial part of child health services. Dr. Amoah supervises immunization from zero to five years in 26 zones.
Achieving good health and preventing diseases is a multi-pronged service. He says that Ghana’s public health strategy addresses hypertension, diabetes, and nutrition, adding this mammoth involves a huge task force.
“Human resource management involves efforts starting from training of the personnel to their retirement package.”