The burden of disease and poor health conditions continue to plague many developing countries including Ghana, in spite of the huge investments in the health sector as compared with other sectors. Health status, measured by factors such as life expectancy, infant mortality, crude death rate, fertility and net child nutritional status of the population, is closely linked to the welfare and development of any nation. For this reason, the importance of prioritizing health care as a means of attaining development cannot be overstated.
There is a demonstrated relationship between health and development. Healthier nations also happen to be wealthier nations. This is due to the fact that healthier populations are equipped to yield much higher labour productivity, which, in turn, contributes to the creation of wealth for the country. The state of health of a people should be regarded as one of the most important determinants of the rate of development of a nation. People living in poverty carry a high disease burden, linked with their compromised levels of nutrition, food security and their poor occupational and environmental conditions. Studies indicate that ill-health and high death rates hinder poverty alleviation and socio-economic development leading to rising levels of unemployment, low levels of education and low income for the people. It is therefore important that policies and measures be put in place to give the prioritization of health care the attention it deserves to truly ensure the success of efforts aimed at bringing about poverty reduction and sustainable development.
It is to promote an agenda of policy dialogue that the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) is organizing a three day international conference on the theme Placing Health at the Centre of Development from Tuesday 25th to Thursday 27th October 2011 at Best Western Hotel in Accra. Issues to be discussed are organized under the following eight sub-thematic areas, selected to cover the full range of health issues facing developing nations.
- Health Policies and Systems
- The Social and Economic Burden of Disease
- Access to Health Care and Quality of Care
- Disease Prevention and Public Health Interventions
- Social Relations, Life-Cycle and Health
- Occupational and Environmental Health
- Health and Disability
- Financing Health
The conference provides the opportunity to refocus the attention of researchers, policy makers and civil society leaders on this most important issue of repositioning health as a centre piece of the development agenda for countries such as Ghana. It is to examine the different elements of the aspiration of building a healthy nation. It is hoped that the conference will re-ignite interest in a broad range of health issues and generate new ideas for tackling the most critical challenges of health and provide an agenda for health research for the coming years. This is in keeping with ISSER mandate to produce cutting edge relevant knowledge, convene policy dialogues and generate public interest in the development challenges of our time. The Conference importance lies in the fact that it will bring together all the different contributors to research, policy and practice in health to discuss a broad range of health issues. ISSER capacity to convene such a meeting arises from its solid tradition of health research in areas such as the economic and social burden of diseases such as malaria and HIV/AIDs, health systems and health policies, reproductive health issues and health financing. The findings of some of this research are presented in this conference, along with similar work being done by researchers from various universities and research organizations in Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the USA.
In all, 63 papers will be presented in 19 panels during the three-day Conference. There will also be poster presentations and the showing of a documentary film on maternal mortality. The Opening Ceremony will be addressed by two renowned Keynote Speakers namely, Professor Paul Schultz and Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa (FGA) as well as a representative of the Minister of Health. The function will be chaired by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana Professor Ernest Aryeetey. The general public is cordially invited to the Opening Ceremony.
Direction to Best Western Hotel
From Kotoka International Airport. Drive straight to first traffic light. Continue to drive straight and make a left turn at the third junction after the traffic light onto White Avenue. The BEST WESTERN Accra Airport Hotel is 200 meters from that junction on your left.