Ghana Association of Public Health Technical Officers

GAPHTO

December 22, 2011
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PETITION TO FAIR WAGES AND SALARIES COMMISSION

RE-MIGRATION OF THE HEALTH SECTOR ONTO THE SINGLE SPINE SALARY STRUCTURE TEST-RUN OF MECHANISED PAY ROLL DATA

This is in reference to your letter No. FWSC/D/SCR. 3vc/4/83 dated 22nd November 2011 to the Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Planning to effect changes with regards to TECHNICAL OFFICER GRADE among others. We the members of the Ghana Association of Public Health Technical Officers wish to draw your attention to the clear distinction between Technical Officer Bio-Statistics and Technical Officer Health Information.

Training for Technical Officer Health Information

The training for Health Information Officers at the College of Health (Rural Health Training School-Kintampo) entails all the courses under the community health programmes for disease control and nutrition. This includes basic sciences, public health (disease surveillance, immunization, disease control, cold chain, health system research, primary health care, health planning), community nutrition etc. The only difference between the Health Information Officers and Disease Control/Nutrition has to do with Demography and Computer application which is done at the final year by Technical Officers Health Information.

Technical Officer Health Information is a programme specifically designed for public health practice at the district level just like Technical Officer Disease Control and Nutrition within the Ghana Health Service/Ministry of Health.

Training for Technical Officer Bio-statistics

In terms of public health practice and the rational for introducing Technical Officer Health Information programme by the Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service at Kintampo, the polytechnic trained Statistics students employed as Technical Officers Bio-Statistics cannot be equated to the Technical Officer Health Information which is among the multi-purpose Technical Officers Group (Disease Control and Nutrition) working at the various levels of health care in the country.

Arguably the statistics products from Polytechnics are trained not specifically for health data and therefore do not belong to the health professional group.

Work of Technical Officer Health Information

Unlike the Bio-Statisticians who are trained at the various Polytechnics as statisticians with no training in public health, Technical Officer Health Information is specifically trained to work just like a Technical Officer Community Health (Disease Control and Nutrition).

Due to the professional competence in terms of public health care, Health Information Officers does the same work as Disease Control, Disease Surveillance and Nutrition Technical Officers. Therefore, they qualify to be classified as Clinical Grade. In addition, majority of them due to their training are working as programme coordinators for (HIV, TB, Malaria, CHPS, Neglected Tropical Diseases etc) at the district level.

Furthermore, the Technical Officer Bio-statistics work solely on data unlike Technical Officer Health Information Officers who are among the multi-purpose Technical Officers working at the various levels. Therefore, it is ethically wrong to put the two together to merit the same market premium of the intended 30%.

Carrier Progression

The Technical Officer Health Information just like the analogous group Disease Control and Nutrition is among the BSc. Public Health programme recently introduced by the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service in conjunction with the School of Public Health – University of Ghana (Legon) for health information officers, disease control and nutrition.

However, majority of records assistance were just promoted and converted to become Technical Officer Bio-statistics without the formal three year training at Kintampo for Technical Health Information Officers.

Impact of the intended action

The intended action if allowed to go on will have negative consequences for public health activities at the district level. It will negatively affect the work output of the district health management teams since some Health Information Technical Officers are working as Technical Officers nutrition and disease control in some of the districts.

Recommendation

The Technical Officer Health Information is first and foremost health professional with public health background to work on health data for Ghana Health Service/Ministry of Health to improve data management which was handled by bio-statisticians and records assistance who had no background in public health care. Therefore, it is out of place to put the two distinct professions together thereby reducing the market premium for Technical Officers Health Information 58% to 30%.

We therefore recommend that, the Technical Officer Bio-statistics should be separated from Technical Officers Health Information trained at Kintampo College of Health (Rural Health Training School).

The intended action to reduce the market premium from 58% to 30% for Technical Officers Health Information should be stopped immediately based on the above reasons stated in terms of training, work and career progression.

We count on your co-operation to work on this issue urgently to prevent confusion at the district level.

 

Sgd.

General Secretary

 

CC: The Hon. Minister of Healt

The Director General, Ghana Health Service

The General Secretary, HSWU

The General Secretary, GRNA

The Chief Executive Officer Korle-Bu, Teaching

The Chief Executive Officer, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital

The Chief Executive Officer, Tamale Teaching Hospital

The Director, Human Resource Division, GHS

October 2, 2011
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Welcome Address at 2011 Conference

WELCOME ADDRESS ON BEHALF OF THE REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF HEALTH SERVICES, EASTERN REGION KOFORIDUA ON THE OCCASION OIF THE 4TH ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE GHANA ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH TECHNICAL OFFICERS (GHAPHTO). BY. MR. ABDUL AZIZ (DDHS)

 

MR. CHAIRMAN,

HON. REGIONAL MINISTER, ER

DIRECTOR GENERAL, GHANA HEALTH SERVICES

REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF HEALTH SERVICES, ER

DEPUTY DIRECTORS AND SENIOR MANAGERS RHA

NATIONAL PROGRAMME MANAGERS

DISTRICT DIRECTOR OF HEALTH SERVICES

COLLEAGUES GAPHTO MEMBERS

INVITED GUEST

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA

DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLE

GOOD MORNING.

It is my singular honour to welcome you all especially member s of the Ghana association of public health technical officers who have travelled the length and breath of the country to participate in the 4th annual general conference of the association here in Koforidua in the eastern region.

Mr. Chairman, this years’ annual general conference has the theme,

“emerging and re-emerging diseases, the role of the public health technical officer”.

The regional health directorate alligns itself with the chosen theme against the background of recent outbreaks of diseases and the emerging trend of some diseases that hitherto were not of public health importance.

This brings to sharp focus the challenge that lies in the domain of the public health technical officers in the area of renewed commitment to duty and hard work; and on the part of the service a clear focus and commitment to their welfare and career upgrading of the officers.

We as a region do acknowledge the struggle of the association throughout the years in consolidating the frontier of the disease control, nutrition and health information officers. We want to congratulate the forbearers for their foresight and leadership.

Mr. Chairman, it is in the interest of the Ghana health service and for that matter  the regional health directorates to provide support and guidance to this association and all other professional groupings alike so as to harness their potentials and vision to address the health goals of the service.

It must have come as a welcome news and appreciation to my colleagues here, when the bachelors of Science degree in public health was introduced at the school of public health, university of Ghana, and Legon.  This has been a long dream come true for this and other cadres of staff who not only needed to upgrade their professional qualification but promotion as well.

Mr. Chairman, it has taken the service a long time in addressing the middle level man-power gap that existed in the public health division, which had the lower cadres of staff with certificates and diplomas and the higher level, masters in public health. We already know that most of our colleagues are preparing themselves to take advantage of the opportunity as the year’s role by and we hope to maintain a stable high level public health technical core group.

Dear colleagues, in our deliberations for this period, lets us consider the effective health information management and health promotion as an important integral part of our efforts to control re-emerging and emerging diseases in the country.

We would like to engage more with the group at the regional level and would urge the leadership to strengthen their ranks in this regard for this to happen.

Let me assure you of the fullest participation of the regional health directorate in all the sessions where we would listen to your success stories, challenges and the way forward so we can position ourselves to go along with you in the coming months and years.

On behalf of the eastern regional health directorate, the entire staff of the region and on my own behalf.  Let me once again welcome all of you to this conference.

For the majority of you the visitors please take time off to enjoy the peace, the beauty and serenity that our regional capital has to offer.

We wish you god’s guidance, protection and abundant blessings throughout your deliberations.

THANK YOU

October 2, 2011
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Address by General Secretary at 2011 Conference

ADDRESS BY THE GAPHTO GENERAL SECRETARY MR. EDMUND OSEI KWAKYE ON THE OCASSION OF THE 4TH ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF GHANA ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH TECHNICAL OFFICERS FROM 29TH AUGUST-1ST SEPTEMBER 2011 AT GNAT HALL – KOFORIDUA

 

Nana Chairman,

Hon. Dep. Regional Minister

Regional Director of Health Service– Eastern Region /Rep of DG

General Secretary HSWU-TUC

Chairman HSWU

Directors

Nananom

Colleagues GAPHTO Members

 Friends from Media

 Ladies and Gentlemen

 

I am with much pleasure to have this opportunity to deliver this address as National General Secretary of GAPHTO on this 4th Annual Conference. This conference is the only platform for our members across the country to interact and also have the opportunity to share experiences with regards to our work.

All the ten regions are adequately represented here.

Nana Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, members of GAPHTO are made up of Technical Officers in Disease Control, Nutrition, Health Information, Leprosy and Field Technicians. One unique thing about our association is that we are all products from College of Health (formally Rural Health Training School, Kintampo). We constitute middle level staff for the health sector and key players of all the public health programmes in the country. We have over 2000 membership across the country. Three core members of all District /Municipal and Metropolitan Health Management Teams in Ghana are our members. This indicates the important roles our members play in health care delivery with other health care professionals in the country.

Nana Chairman, some of GAPHTO objectives are:

  1. To continually enhance professional skills of our members so that our clients can have quality health care.
  2. To ensure that our members work with Code of ethics
  3. To develop potential members into good leaders for public health
  4. To ensure the welfare of members among others.

We are gathering here for four (4) days to upgrade our knowledge and skills related to our professional work and discuss issues which will enhance the welfare of our members.

Nana Chairman, the theme for this conference is “Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases: The Role of Public Health Technical Officers”. The recent outbreaks of infectious diseases such as cholera, H1N1, CSM and the increase in non communicable diseases calls for re-awakening of our members to rise up to our core technical duties in order to develop appropriate strategies to help manage and prevent the occurrence of such diseases in the country.

Nana Chairman, Invited Guests, Ladies and gentlemen, our members have played key roles in Growth monitoring of children, immunization, TB control, the road map for polio and Guinea worm eradication, effective control of onchocercaisis and leprosy, are some of the areas that GAPHTO members have rendered invaluable service to the country. This is an indication that the emerging and re-emerging diseases can equally be handled with the right support from our employers to protect and improve the health status of Ghanaians.

Nana Chairman, we are grateful to the Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Health and School of Public Health – Legon for providing our members the opportunity to do a degree programme in Public Health. However, the tuition fee of GHC3200 per year is far beyond the means of most of our members. The study leave with pay alone granted cannot afford most of our members to finance such a programme over three years. We therefore appeal to the authorities to take a second look at how best we can finance such a programme. GAPHTO members recommends that, GHS should task the DHMT to support people who get admission to the school since members will come back to work for GHS.

Nana Chairman, Hon. Reg. Minister, D-G Ghana Health Service, Ladies and Gentlemen, members of this group face some disturbing challenges and will like the necessary institutions to rectify it immediately. Whiles our counterparts are given degree status after completing a degree programme, our members in Disease Control and Health Information are left out. Some of our colleagues in disease control with even Masters Degrees still receive salary as technical officer due to the absence of officer grade for Disease Control Officers in the country. We think that this is not fair treatment.

We also face a situation whereby disparities exit in the area of promotion where even the same year group members have different times for promotional interviews and subsequent promotion across regions. We urge the Human Resource Division of Ghana Health Service to streamline promotions for all professionals.

Nana Chairman, We appreciate the various efforts of our employers but we think that they can do more to strengthen public health practice so that Ghana can stand up to the challenge of emerging and re-emerging diseases in the country.

Nana Chairman, I am using this opportunities to inform my colleagues to take the working sessions seriously so that we can add to our knowledge and skills so that conferences like this  become a source of commitment, rededication to service and above all improvement of health of our people.

Nana Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, we commend the organizers for the preparatory activities and efforts made so far. It is very challenging but a learning experience. We therefore appeal to our members to cooperate with the organizers so that this Conference becomes a success.

Long Live GAPHTO

Long Live Ghana Health Service

Long Live Ghana

Thank you all for your attention.

August 20, 2011
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Topics for Technical Presentations

DRAFT PROGRAMME FOR 4TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE

GHANA ASSOCIATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH TECHNICAL OFFICERS (GAPHTO)

29TH AUGUST 2011 – 1ST SEPTEMBER 2011,

GNAT HALL- KOFORIDUA

Theme:

‘’ Emerging and Re-emerging Diseases: The Role of Public Health Technical Officer’’

Reporting Day: Sunday, 28th August 2011

14:00-19:00hrs Arrival of participants Conf sec

Day 1: Monday, 29th August 2011 

7:00-8:00hrs Breakfast
07:00-08:00hrs Registration of participants Conf sec
08:00-12:40hrs Opening Ceremony All
13: 30-14: 30hrs Lunch Break All
Technical Sessions: (Rapporteur) Ashanti Region
14: 30- 15:30hrs Globalization and infectious diseases Director PH, GHS
15: 30-16: 30hrs Current issues in outbreak investigations Surv. Unit 
16:30- 17:30hrs Preventing childhood diseases through Community Growth Promotion Nut Division
 17: 30-17:45hrs Wrap up for the Day and Closing Nat. Exec

Day 2: Tuesday, 30th August 2011

7:00-8:00hrs Breakfast
08:00-08:30hrs Recap of previous day’s activities (Rapporteur) Brong Ahafo Region
08: 30-09:30hrs Strengthening community participation in DOTS NTP
09: 30-10:30hrs  ‘’HIV Know Your Status’’ campaignSuccess story, challenges and the role of GAPHTO NACP
10:30-11:30hrs Enhancing NTDs programme at the district/sub-district level NTDs
11:30-12:30hrs Building sustainable volunteers programme for health care delivery USAID
13: 00-14: 00hrs Lunch Break All
14:00-15:00hrs Best practices in immunisation for effective disease prevention EPI/WHO
15:00-16:00hrs  “Introduction of new vaccines in 2012 in Ghana – the role of the Technical Officer” EPI GHS
16: 00- 16: 45hrs GAPHTO AFFAIRS All participants
16: 45- 17: 00hrs Wrap up for the Day and Closing All

Day 3: Wednesday, 31st August 2011

7:00-8:00hrs Breakfast
08:00-08:30hrs Recap of previous day’s activities (Rapporteur) Volta Region
08: 30-09:30hrs Malaria diagnosis at the peripheral level: Using RDTs NMCP
09: 30-10:30hrs -AFP certification/ Updates on Guinea Worm programme-Epidemic Preparedness and challenges DDC & Prev
10:30-11:30hrs The burden of non-communicable diseases in Ghana NCDC
11:30-12:30hrs Current issues in Buruli Ulcer management BU Unit
13: 00-14: 00hrs Lunch Break All
14: 00- 15: 00hrs Data quality checks during disease outbreaks DDC & Prev
15: 00- 16: 00hrs GAPHTO affairs GAPHTO Members
16: 00- 17: 30hrs Wrap up for the Day and Closing Gen Sec
Day 4 : Thursday, 1st  September 2011
7:00-8:00hrs Breakfast
08:00-08:30hrs Recap of previous day’s activities (Rapporteur) Eastern Region
08: 30-09:30hrs Current issues in human resource policies HRD, GHS
09: 30-11:00hrs Intake of Field Technicians for Diploma courses, opportunities, challenges and way forward College of Health
11:00-12:00hrs Current Issues in Single Spine Salary Negotiation HSWU
12:00- 13:00hrs Investment opportunities for middle income earners in Ghana Investment Analyst
13:00-14:00hrs Lunch Break All
14: 00- 15:00hrs National Executives Election Electoral Officer
15: 00- 16:00hrs Wrap up for the Day and Closing of Conference President/ Gen Sec
16:00- 16:20hrs Reading of Communiqué National Executives

Day 5: Friday, 2nd August 2011

07:00 Departure All

July 23, 2011
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2011 National Conference

The recent trend in disease outbreaks requires the efforts of all key players in health care delivery in order not to reverse the gains so far made with regards to MDGs. The association therefore decided on the theme ‘The emerging and re-emerging diseases: The role of Public Health Technical Officers” for 2011 conference to be held at Koforidua.

Technical Presentations

There would be technical presentations by the following institutions of Ghana Health Service, Ministry of Health and other health related agencies.

 

  1. National Malaria Control Programme
  2. National AIDS Control Programme
  3. EPI Ghana Health Service
  4. Department of Disease Control and Prevention
  5. Human Resource Division (GHS)/MOH
  6. Neglected Tropical Disease Unit (GHS)
  7. Disease Surveillance Department (GHS)
  8. National Tuberculosis Control Programme
  9. Nutrition Department (GHS)
  10. Non Communicable Department (GHS)
  11. Buruli Ulcer Control Programme (GHS)
  12. Center for Health Information Management (GHS)
  13. EPI WHO
  14. USAID
  15. UNICEF
  16. Health Service Workers Union
  17. Veterinary Service
  18. School of Public Health – Legon etc

October 3, 2010
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Welcome to the official website of GAPHTO

You are welcome to the official website of the Ghana Association of Public Health Technical Officers. The website covers all the activities of the Association as well as best practices from members across Ghana. All members are encouraged to send their post to the national secretariat for posting onto this website. It is very important for our members to note that all articles and news sent to the national secretariat for posting would be edited by the chief editor of the website. The editor has the right to reject any post which does not meet our editorial policy.