The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has raised concerns over the absence of the Minister of Health in the government’s emergency committee established to coordinate relief efforts following the recent spillage of water from the Akosombo and Kpong dams.

This spillage has caused severe devastation in communities along the Volta Basin.

In response to the havoc caused by the spillage, a 13-member inter-ministerial committee was formed to coordinate government efforts in providing assistance to victims and managing the aftermath of the disaster.

However, the GMA has noted the glaring absence of the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, from this crucial committee, despite what they claim is a central role the Ministry plays in disaster relief efforts.

The association emphasized that the provision of emergency healthcare and support, prevention of potential outbreaks of water-borne diseases, effective risk communication, and ensuring the continuity of essential health services are fundamental components of a response to a disaster of this nature.

In a statement released on October 16, 2023, the GMA welcomed the formation of the Inter-ministerial Committee to address the flooding and related issues.

Nonetheless, they urgently called on the government to rectify this oversight and include the Minister of Health in the committee to ensure a comprehensive and effective response to the ongoing crisis.

“We have noted the exclusion of the Minister of Health from this Committee even though the Ministry of Health will play a central role in relief efforts. The provision of emergency healthcare and support, prevention of possible outbreaks of water-borne diseases, risk communication and ensuring continuity of essential health services are fundamental to a response of this nature.”

“We therefore call on the government to immediately include the Minster of Health as a matter of urgency,” portions of the GMA statement read.

The flooding resulting from the spillage has left thousands of residents in the Volta and Eastern regions displaced and urgently in need of assistance.

Chaired by Chief of Staff Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, the committee comprises key government officials responsible for various sectors, including the Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah; Minister for the Interior, Ambrose Dery; Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul; Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh; Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta; and the Minister of Local Government, Daniel Kwaku Botwe.