ADDRESS BY THE NATIONAL PRESIDENT, KWADAM SELASE, ON THE OCASSION OF THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF GHANA ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH TECHNICAL OFFICERS (GAPHTO). 11TH OCTOBER, 2017 AT SPLENDOR HOTEL – KUMASI
Hon. Regional Minister
Regional Director of Health Service
General Secretary, Health Service Workers Union
Representatives from other Health Professional Associations
Colleagues GAPHTO Members
Friends from Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
I am delighted to have this opportunity to deliver this address for 10th anniversary of our noble association. Our national conference is the biggest platform for our members across the country to interact, share experiences in public health activities and discuss welfare issues. This year’s conference is unique as it coincides with our 10th anniversary.
Nana Chairman, our association (GAPHTO) is made up of Technical Officers in Disease Control, Nutrition, Health Information, and Field Technicians. We have a common root from College of Health and Well-Being (formally Rural Health Training School, Kintampo).
The association started as purely a group of Technical Officers in Disease Control in the early Nineteen Eighties. The desire to form one formidable national association comprising all Technical officers trained at Kintampo gave birth to Public Health Technical Officers Group (PUHTOG) and officially inaugurated in 2006. Due to the group dynamics and emerging issues, the name was changed to GHANA ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH TECHNICAL OFFICERS (GAPHTO) in 2009.
The theme for our 10th Anniversary is ‘’GAHPTO 10 Years of National Activism: Prospects, Challenges and Way forward
The association is essentially aimed at enhancing professional skills of our members to offer quality public health care, develop members to take up leadership positions for public health in Ghana and globally in addition to welfare of our members. Our over 3,500 members can be found at all levels of health care in the country. We play pivotal role in all the public health as well as overall health care delivery programmes and activities in the country. Three core members of all District /Municipal and Metropolitan Health Management Team belong to our association
Nana Chairman, Regional Director of Health Service, members continue to render invaluable contributions as far as public health activities are concerned. Notable among them are immunization, Malaria control, Tuberculosis control, HIV & AIDS programme, Neglected Tropical Diseases control, Guinea worm eradication, Health information management, Growth monitoring of children, Management of malnutrition, Health promotion, Planning, implementation and evaluation of various health interventions in Ghana.
Our members’ technical role in disease surveillance and vaccine management continues to make the country one of the best in Sub-Saharan Africa in achieving public health indicators. We are among the key implementers of the International Health Regulation especially in the area of case detection and reporting for surveillance action. Members provide various leadership roles especially at district and sub-districts levels.
In addition, a good number of our members have been offering technical support in many countries across the globe in various public health programmes for WHO, UNICEF and CDC. Lastly, the contribution of our members in health training institutions are making in building capacity for health care providers cannot be overemphasized.
Nana Chairman, Regional Director of Health Service, Invited guests, in spite of the key roles played by our members in health care delivery especially in public health, our members have myriads of challenges such as:
- The Ministry of Health and Ghana Health service usually leave us behind when critical issues are to be considered by professional associations
- A sizable number of members cannot be upgraded unto degree grades due to many impediments which are mostly no fault of our members
- We are usually sidelined in the pursue of further education as compared to other professions in some regions
- The promotion of our colleagues to Chief Technical Officer Grades are saddled with many issues
The theme for our 10th anniversary ‘’GAHPTO 10 Years of National Activism: Prospects, Challenges and Way forward’’ is to serve as a platform for our members from all the regions in the country to critically assess our impact in health care delivery in the country, thoroughly examine our prospects and challenges in order to develop new strategic focus. In addition, we will conduct elections to elect officers to steer the affairs of the association for the next 4 years. This is the first time we have many interested contestants for various positions which is a clear indication of our growth as an association. We urge contestants and their supporters to work within the confines of civility to protect our association. We therefore cannot sacrifice the association on the altar of internal politics. We are also using this election to further enhance Ghana’s enviable democratic principles globally.
We are determined to move public health forward in the country and beyond notwithstanding the institutional challenges. Our members can assure our employers of our quality technical support for the attainment of the health related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for Ghana.
Nana Chairman, we appreciate the various efforts of our employers to enhance our work but we are of the view that they can do more for our members.
We know how far we have struggled to come as a professional association and will not relent in our effort till we become one of the best professional associations in the country and beyond. I therefore implore the maximum cooperation of our members to help develop new strategic focus for the benefit of all of us and the country as a whole
Lastly, we want to recognize the effort of our colleagues in Ashanti region for accepting the challenge to host our anniversary. We therefore, appeal to our members to cooperate with the organizers to enhance the quality of this conference.
Thank you all for your attention.
We say AYEKOO to our members
LONG LIVE GAPHTO
GOD BLESS US ALL