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Denmark - Ghana: A Healthy Partnership that Saves Lives

New magazine, a technical report and five short films highlight the impressive improvements, the health sector in Ghana has seen over two decades of Danish support, which is now being phased out.

Under 5-child mortality and maternal mortality have been halved, health expenditure has increased dramatically, and the number of doctors has more than doubled. These are just some of improvements Ghana’s health sector has seen since Danida started supporting the sector in the mid-90ies. Over this period, total Danish support amounts to some 220 million USD.

We have come a very long way together,” Ghana’s Minister for Health Alex Segbefia said at a workshop at the Danish Embassy in Accra Wednesday 2 March marking that Danish support to the health sector is being phased out in 2016, but also presenting the magazine “Ghana-Denmark: A Healthy Partnership” and five short films documenting some of the many achievements. Here, Ghanaian mothers, doctors, civil servants, patients, politicians etc. explain about the development, Ghana’s health sector has seen over the past decades and the impact of the Danish support. In addition, a technical report has been produced to detail lessons learnt.


Ghana’s Minister for Health, Alex Segbefia, and the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol, present the magazine, ”A Healthy Partnership”.

We – Danida – did not create this. We did it together,“ the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol, stressed. “But 22 years is a long time, and while we are not blind to the challenges that Ghana’s health sector is still facing, we are confident that you now have a much better system in place to face the challenges, and we know that you have the will. Ghana is now a lower middle-income country, and the capacity in the health sector is very much improved. Phasing out of Ghana means that Denmark can focus our support to poorer countries. But our partnership continues: Through private companies, civil society organisations etc.,” the ambassador said.

Minister for Health Alex Segbefia made no hiding that while graduating from a low-income to a lower middle-income country marks a positive change, it also comes with costs, one of them being the phasing out of Danish support to the health sector: “Ghana increasingly shall have to stand on its own feet. Financial and technical support – not only from Danida, but also from other development partners – is decreasing dramatically. Actually, countries like Ghana making this transition should be trained to prepare ourselves for the new situation, where we increasingly have to mobilize internal resources to finance the social services we want,” the minister said.


Rofina Asuru - on of the first Maters of International Health (1999) talks about her experiences from the course and Denmark at the launch

Special, Danish fingerprints

Throughout the years of Danish support, Danida has advocated for a strong pro-poor focus and advocated for primary health care interventions aimed at the poorest Ghanaians in the most remote areas and with the highest mortality rates. This was highlighted at the workshop and in the magazine and the films.

Examples include Danish support to pushing for the inclusion of the poor and vulnerable in Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme and to the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) and its more than 180 health institutions that serve 35-40 per cent of Ghana’s population. Danida’s support to CHAG has been instrumental in developing the close cooperation between CHAG and government which is unique for Africa.


Ghanaian media turned out in big numbers to the seminar and to interview Minister for Health, Alex Segbefia, and the Danish Ambassador to Ghana, Tove Degnbol.

The documentation study

Below you can find links to the different parts of the documentation study:

Technical report

E-paper in Danish (film1, film 2, film 3, film 4 and film 5)

E-paper in English (film1, film 2, film 3, film 4 and film 5)

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