The 6th Edition of the Ghana Standard Treatment Guidelines (STG) and Essential Medicines List (EML) of Ghana was launched at a colourful and impressive ceremony at the College of Physicians and Surgeons Conference Centre in Accra.
Over 300 health workers and members of the public attended this event. The Deputy Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. George Amofa, and the Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority, Mr. Sylvester Mensah, were present to lend their support to this important function. Members of several health professional associations including the Ghana Medical Association, Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana and Ghana Registered Nurses Association, as well as civil society organisations, development partners and the print media were also present. The two books were launched by the acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Health Dr. Sylvester Anemana, on behalf of the Minister for Health, Hon. Dr. Ben Kunbour.
The STG 2010 is an improved version of Ghana’s STG 2004. Like the latter, it is evidence-based with an evidence rating for each suggested treatment recommendation. This edition also aligns with the National Health Insurance benefits package and incorporates additional information on blood disorders, such as myeloma, leukaemia and lymphoma, and on specific cancers, such as that of the cervix and breast. Also included are topics on eye diseases, such as glaucoma, conjunctivitis, trachoma and cataract, as well as a first-time write up on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and poisons.
The new STG and EML took into consideration the new WHO Model List of Essential Medicines and listed medicines using their recommended International Non-proprietary Names (rINN). New products added to this edition came up to 159, of which 47 had more than one dosage form. Eighty-six (86) products were deleted. The EML was coded using the national health commodity coding system while also providing the levels of care at which various medicines could be prescribed and whether the listed medicines are reimbursable under the National Health Insurance Scheme.
The occasion for the launch saw the Chairman of the Expert Review Committee, Dr Francis Ofei, head of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Ghana Medical School, give an insightful and well received lecture on the topic, ‘Towards improving the quality of healthcare delivery in Ghana- the Role of Standard Treatment Guidelines and Essential Medicines Lists’.
This document is the sixth edition of the Ghana Ministry of Health’s officially approved prescribers’ and dispensers’ guide for all levels of healthcare and an important tool for monitoring prescriber adherence and for health insurance reimbursements and audit purposes.
Also unique to this edition is an accompanying compact disk (CD). The entire book will also be posted on the internet site www.ghndp.org by November 30, 2010.