The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare has signed a project agreement with “AnesvaD” to control, eliminate and eradicate skin related Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), mainly leprosy, buruli ulcer and yaws in the country. The project was launched and signed yesterday January 29, at Coconut Groove Regency Hotel, in Accra.
These NTDs are major Public Health Disease burden for Ghana. GHS desires to see the country free from these debilitating diseases with associated high level of stigma.
Despite the interventions and strategies by GHS which have resulted in eradication of Guinea worm, elimination of Leprosy and broken transmission of onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis, NTDs seem to be a mirage. “Buruli Ulcer case incidence seems to be on decline, but when we do case search more cases are detected. The decline is therefore due to low case search and notification”, said the Director General.
“We will continue to do our best to mobilize and harness our effort to mitigate the negative impact of these NTDs and bring smiles to the face of the affected; reduce the associated morbidity, disability and deaths. We believe this project will go a long way to compliment efforts of Government towards Buruli Ulcer control, sustained elimination of leprosy and eradication of Yaws. We will continue to do our best and adhere to the principles enshrined in the agreement and safeguard the investment inputted into this AnesvaD project to control, eliminate and eradicate respective NTDs”, he added.
The Director General hinted that the GHS will soon have Public Health and Health Promotion as a division to ensure effective health communication. He also revealed that programmes secretariat has been established under the Office of the Director General, to enhance teamwork and transparency.
ANESVAD Foundation is a professional, independent and non-religious organisation. Its main aim is to promote and protect the right to health as a Human Right, understanding health to be complete physical, psychological and social wellbeing, that not only depends on services and medical care but also on adequate general living conditions. ANESVAD Foundation runs development cooperation projects and it works in 3 main fields: Neglected Tropical Diseases, Primary Health Care (Community Health, Mother-Child Health and Sexual and Reproductive Health) and Human Trafficking. The organization has been in Ghana since 1995.
The Upper Denkyira East District was declared years ago as endemic for Buruli ulcer. Most of the population lives in remote rural communities which can only be reached by red dirt roads which cannot be used in the rainy season. Under those conditions it is very difficult for the people living there to access the very few health centres which are in any event poorly equipped. The area is characterised by the mines which contaminate the water which supplies the most vulnerable towns. That leads to many diseases like diarrhoea and other skin diseases and makes it impossible for the population in that area to live under good health conditions.
GHS PR UNIT