Ghana Immigration Service Receives COVID-19 Protection Equipment as part of EU-ECOWAS Assistance to ECOWAS Member States

Published Date: 
Fri, 12/18/2020 - 19:15
Country: 
Ghana

Accra – On 30 November 2020, at the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) Headquarters, GIS received Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as part of the EU-ECOWAS Assistance to ECOWAS Member States (Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana) in response to the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PPE (medical masks, hand gloves, thermometers, hand sanitizers, disinfectants, liquid soap, hand tissues, cleaning equipment) worth 40,000 EUR is critical for the successful control of COVID-19. They will be distributed to GIS personnel at the most engaged Points of Entry (POEs).

“These items are of utmost importance to the GIS and come very timely. They will help us continue our operations for safe and healthy movement of people, contribute to reduce the risk of infection, protect frontline personnel, and increase our capacity to provide services at borders,” said Kwame Asuah Takyi, Comptroller-General of Immigration at GIS.

In Ghana as well as in the region, COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the national public health system and the role that points of entry (POEs) play within this system.

“In May 2020, IOM Ghana has assessed the operational status of 48 PoEs across the country. The report recommended that capacities of PoEs and border communities in Ghana should be enhanced for them to be able to play their critical functions in COVID-19 response and recovery. We are therefore glad to continue our support to GIS and its staff at POEs today through this donation,” said Abibatou Wane-Fall, IOM Ghana Chief of Mission.

On 30 November 2020, Ghana registered 797 active COVID-19 cases; a total of 51,667 confirmed cases; and 323 death.

“ECOWAS countries have put strict health measures in place to be able to slowly open their international borders to the public and remove travel restrictions. This support will enable the Member States to conduct safe and healthy movements as their borders are being reopened to the public,” said Pieter Smidt Van Gelder, Deputy Head of Mission, Delegation of the European Union to Ghana.

The EU-ECOWAS Assistance aims to reduce the risk of infection and spread of the virus within the ECOWAS Region; encourage the Immigration and Border officials to adhere to international health recommendation; protecting the frontline immigration personnel from contacting the virus; ensure safe, healthy, and orderly movement; increase the capacity of immigration and border officials personal; and support with provision of essential services more effectively and efficiently.

“COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on mobility, border and migration movement. Like many countries throughout the world, the ECOWAS Member states continue to develop and implement needed measures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 while protecting its borders, citizens and the thousands of travelers and migrants who transverse ECOWAS borders daily,” said Tei Konzi, Commissioner for Free Movement (ECOWAS Commission).

The donation was made possible with funding from the European Union and ECOWAS Commission within the framework of the FMM West Africa project, “Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration in West Africa” which supports border management within the region.

For more information, please contact Daniel Tagoe, Project Assistant at IOM Ghana, at dtagoe@iom.int.