A delegation from the US Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) visited the IOM Ghana office this week (19-22 July) to visit project sites of IOM’s Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).
The GHSA collaboration agreement between the CDC and IOM was established in 2015 as a way to strengthen capacities at points of entry in Ghana to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases.
Three priority districts in Ghana were selected for interventions – Ketu North District and Ketu South Municipality – both in the Volta Region – and Kasena Nankana West district in the Upper East Region.
Official land border crossings and border regions in these communities are the focus of interventions that address needs identified by IOM, the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ghana Ministry of Health and CDC.
The Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis in the Western Region, which has active landing beaches, was also included, due to the unregulated nature of travel to other West African countries by both local and foreign fishermen.
Kotoka International Airport is also being supported by the GHSA to develop a fully integrated public health emergency contingency plan.
The CDC delegation met with IOM Ghana and spent an additional two days in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis, visiting landing beaches, learning from community-based surveillance activities, and field testing new training materials for community-based surveillance volunteers.
The training materials are expected to be used nationwide for training of community-based surveillance volunteers in the subsequent years of the program. The field visit also validated information collected during district-level participatory mobility mapping exercises conducted in June 2016.
Currently, IOM Ghana’s GHSA Team is developing various interventions to increase Ghana’s level of compliance with the International Health Regulation, improve community-based surveillance and facilitate cross border collaboration and health data sharing.
The IOM Ghana team is the first to have conducted a national level participatory mobility mapping and has completed district level mobility mapping in four districts.
The CDC-funded IOM GHSA is a sub-regional programme implemented in six countries – Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone.