Akosua Frema Osei-Opare
CHIEF OF Staff, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, has reiterated government’s commitment to improving health systems in the country through the construction of Agenda 111 projects which are expected to make Ghana a centre of medical excellence and a destination for medical tourism in the subregion.
The Chief of Staff said this when she joined the Ghana Health Service and other partners to premiere the sixth season of the popular TV show, dubbed ‘You only Live Once’ (YOLO), at the Silver Bird Theatre Friday in Accra.
Speaking as the Guest of Honour, Mrs. Frema Osei-Opare said although world economies continued to grapple with the devastating impact of COVID-19, one of the innovations that came to the fore was the need for government to improve the country’s health sector.
That, she indicated, has led to the construction and improvement of health infrastructure in various parts of the country.
She said, “The vision of the President in navigating this crisis as always, is to turn them into opportunities. The government of Ghana is thus constructing the Agenda 111 District Hospitals as part of measures to improve health systems. The goal is to bring health care closer to the people especially, the underserved communities with wide spread medical facilities. It is even expected that Ghana will become a centre of medical excellence and destination for medical tourism in the West Africa region.”
She also stated the need for young people to be recognised and given skills, education, abilities and health, among others, to make decisions as Ghana strove to bounce back from the global pandemic.
She, therefore, commended Government, the Ministry Health, Ghana Health Service, the National Population Council, USAID and other partners, for initiating the programme, which in her view, would go a long way to complement government’s efforts to give hope and empower many young people through policies such as the Free SHS with knowledge and skills.
“I am happy that finally YOLO is back finally on our TV screens because it has been three long years since we have enjoyed the travels, the trials of the past of energetic young people as we watch them navigate the life, love and their health,” she added
Dr. Patrick Kumah Aboagye, Director General of the Ghana Health Service, in his remarks said the ‘YOLO’ programme was aimed at entertaining and educating the new generation of Ghana’s youth to provide a platform that engaged them to discuss unique topics such as family planning, disease prevention, maternal and child health, malaria, COVID-19 vaccination and other positive health behaviours while showcasing and integrating them into a format that they could identify with.
According to him, the sixth edition of the programme would also feature cast from the north as attempts are made to capture the culture, health and wellbeing challenges, and issues from the northern perspective
Executive Director of the National Population Council, Dr. Leticia Adelaide Appiah, on her part, said nations could only prosper when their young people thrived.
Present at the event was US Ambassador to Ghana, Virginia Palmer, representative of the Minister of Health, Dr. Dacosta Aboagye, Director of Health promotion, Ghana Health Service, and some members of the cast such as Adjetey Annan, Jackey Appiah, Cyril and other celebrities in the arts and entertainment industry as well as scores of youth drawn from various parts of the country.
‘YOLO’ is an award-winning young adult health education programme shown on TV.
The Health Promotion Division of the Ghana Health Service is co-hosting the programme under the 5-year USAID Accelerating Social and Behaviour Change Project.
BY Ebenezer K. Amponsah