IOM Ghana Provides Ghana Health Service with 16 Motorbikes to close Global Health Security Agenda Project

Published Date: 
Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:00
Country: 
Ghana

Accra - On 28 February 2019, the International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Project was successfully brought to a close with the handing over of 16 motorbikes to the Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Services (GHS).

“As Ghana strengthens its contribution to the public health security agenda, we must identify the gaps and solutions,” said Dr Badu Sarkodie, Director of Public Health at the GHS. “This donation will help to address the gaps in transportation for health workers in the community and at border ports of entry,” he continued.

The GHSA project funded by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and implemented by IOM was established in 2015 to reinforce capacities to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases at Points of Entry (POEs) and border communities in Ghana.

Ghana is one of 15 prioritized countries identified as high-risk for a potential infectious disease outbreak, such as Ebola Viral Disease (EVD) or Lassa fever, due to its geographical location in the sub-region. Because of this risk, strengthening the health system to detect and contain any outbreak is a top priority for national health partners.

The GHSA project supported the GHS to improve core capacities for the international health regulations (IHR) at four of the IHR designated POEs: the Kotoka International Airport, the Paga border with Burkina Faso and the Akanu and Aflao borders with Togo.

Additionally, the GHSA project conducted IHR core capacities assessments, and initiated and supported cross-border meetings to facilitate the sharing of information on disease surveillance. IOM Ghana’s GHSA project also promoted the development of public health emergency response plans (PHERP) at POEs.

During the implementation of the capacity strengthening activities for community-based surveillance workers, it was noted that some remote border areas lacked adequate transportation and logistical capabilities.

CDC, GHS and IOM Ghana agreed that the provision of motorbikes to identified districts would improve the logistics and transportation for surveillance at community levels.  The motorbikes provided by IOM will be used by frontline public health officers to follow up and investigate reports of public health incidences reported by community-based surveillance volunteers in hard-to-reach areas and for rapid transfer of specimen samples to laboratories.

This was the second batch of motorbikes provided by IOM Ghana, after four motorbikes were presented to the GHS in July 2018.

This donation of a total of 20 motorbikes by IOM Ghana contributes to the current GHS strategy to improve transport logistics for health surveillance. The first four bikes donated are currently in use at the district level. GHS has already identified additional 14 districts and two POEs where the 16 motorbikes will be dispersed.

For further information, please contact Dr Anita Davies at IOM Ghana: Tel: +233 302 742 930 Ext 2500, Email: adavies@iom.int