Canada has contributed 8 million United States dollars as part of a strategic partnership with the Government of Ghana and UNICEF to strengthen lifesaving health, nutrition and sanitation services for children and women, especially among vulnerable groups, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The assistance will improve quality health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene services in Ghana’s Ashanti Region with focus on gender equality.
The region has the second highest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the country with a cumulative case count of 15,711 out of the national figure of 94,824 cases as at June 12, 2021.
The active cases in the region currently stands at 154 with 80 new confirmed cases recorded between 7th and 12th June, 2021.
Also, the region has recorded 253 out of the 790 persons who have died from the virus nationwide.
The COVID-19 Response program from the Canadian government is geared towards strengthening the region’s capacity to diagnose and treat COVID-19 patients through the provision of training and supplies, including digital tablets, protective gear for frontline health workers, oxygen therapy equipment, laboratory equipment for regional laboratories and health clinics.
This will facilitate more efficient case management, data capturing, monitoring and follow up.
“This COVID-19 Response Partnership has come at the right time. It will enhance the region’s preparedness in infection prevention, build the capacity of health workers, and provide the needed critical COVID-19 diagnosis, management, and provision of essential health services to women and children.
The entire Regional Health leadership appreciates this gesture and will ensure the successful implementation of this collaboration,”Ashanti Regional Director of Health Services, Dr. Emmanuel Tenkorang said.
By engaging with community health committee members and mobilizing traditional and religious leaders, the Government and UNICEF will work together to address social norms and gender stereotypes.
This, in turn, will empower girls and women, elevate gender equality, and increase the demand for quality maternal and neonatal care, good infant and young children feeding practices, safe water, sanitation and hygiene. It will also aid in preventing the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
“It is clear that women and girls are being disproportionally affected by the pandemic. Canada is proud to support UNICEF and the Government of Ghana in addressing gender inequalities in their work to prevent and respond to COVID-19.
This will help us all achieve the ambitious targets set out through the Sustainable Development Goals,”H.E. Kati Csaba, High Commissioner of Canada to Ghana explained.
Frontline health workers in Ashanti Region will receive training, including 2,000 community health nurses, 2,500 midwives, 100 environmental health and sanitation officers, and 700 community health committee members.
In addition, three hundred health clinics and 30 public spaces will upgrade their water and sanitation facilities.
This will help to curtail the spread of the virus and to ensure continued and improved health, water, sanitation, and hygiene services in Ghana’s most populous region, where 5,924,498 people reside.
This strategic partnership will provide policy guidance, planning and technical assistance, in close collaboration with the Ghana Health Service, the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources and other related government agencies at the district, regional and national levels.
“Strengthening preparedness, primary healthcare and integrated services across sectors can save lives now and help boost progress towards universal healthcare, as well as gender equality. We are delighted to partner with the Governments of Ghana and Canada to have a positive impact in the lives of the most vulnerable children and women,” Anne-Claire Dufay, UNICEF Representative in Ghana stated.