January 6th, 2021 - Officials from World Vision, the Government of Ghana and the health sector held a ceremony at World Vision's offices in Accra, to carry out the distribution of critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The event was part of an ongoing efforts by World Vision and its partners to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. The donation, worth just under USD 125,000 (GHC 743,368) in PPE, is a collective effort to support the Ghanaian Government to halt further spread of the disease.
At the ceremony, Mrs. Efua Ghartey, Board Chair of World Vision in Ghana, mentioned the importance of supporting Government through PPE to curb the outbreak of COVID-19: “Our presence today is an indication of World Vision's position that the fight against COVID-19 is not yet over. We are here to support the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) with PPE and hand-washing facilities amounting to GHC 743,368. It is our hope that these items will go a long way to support your personnel’s work in these difficult times.”
Over the past 41 years, World Vision has been partnering with various bodies and organisations to respond to the outbreak of pandemics in regions across the world. As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise, World Vision's response is to build the capacity of health workers, equip them to manage reported cases and reduce the likelihood of them getting infected in their line of duty. Furthermore, the objective of the organisation is to scale up interventions to ensure that the most vulnerable children are protected from the virus.
Dickens Thunde, World Vision's National Director for Ghana, who attended the event emphasised the importance of protecting the lives of frontline workers: “The fact that this programme is targeting frontline workers is vital to effectively fight the pandemic. Healthcare workers are part of the frontline in the struggle against the pandemic. In many countries, frontline workers are dying in large numbers because they are not receiving adequate protection. This donation will go a long way in preventing the spread of the virus”.
The donated PPE materials are aimed to serve several partners including the GHS, the CHAG, Clinical Care, and various health facilities within the Greater Accra region of Ghana. The donation –which included face masks, sanitisers, hand-washing facilities, overalls, foot-operated plastic waste bins and customised phones– comes at a crucial time when the Government is moving into a phase to ease restrictions with the risk of higher infection. The project also included an exchange learning agreement which involved virtual Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) training for over a thousand clinical and non-clinical health workers.
Sarah Sackey Martei-Olletey is the Institutional Review Board Administrator and Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator for the CHAG. She is responsible for some of the virtual training that has taken place in the Greater Accra Region. She noted that “The PPEs are a precious gift. Our frontline workers are crucial and they need to be guided and protected to prevent the spread of the infection. The virtual training was beneficial in retraining for prevention control and the PPEs are essential to complement the on-line training of 1,016 frontline workers”.
World Vision, in its partnership with various health bodies in Ghana, is also implementing other strategies to strengthen the capacity of hospitals and clinics in managing the virus. The organisation has augmented its Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme to facilitate effective hygiene and safety practices. One of the recipients of the PPE donation is Dr. Charity Sarpong, the Regional Director of theGHS for Greater Accra.
Sarpong emphasised the continuous need to promote hygiene and safety practices: “COVID-19 alerts us to the importance of safety in the pandemic. There is no current treatment and therefore it is of the utmost importance to observe safety protocols by ensuring the availability of water and hand-washing items in these facilities”.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, World Vision has worked with the GHS to print and distribute over 200,000 Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials which were displayed in public places within the Greater Accra region. The aim is to bolster the Government's efforts in public education on COVID-19. World Vision has also dispensed PPE materials to 24 districts in 14 regions, and spent approximately USD 1.4 million in its COVID-19 Emergency Response (COVER) Project.