Ghana - In March 2014 the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) presented itself in West Africa and has since taken thousands of lives and decimated health systems in its wake. In response to this crisis, IOM is implementing an EVD programme in West Africa to provide assistance in affected countries and prevention in bordering countries, including Ghana. Target groups include local authorities and community/civil society organisations, and various mobile populations and host communities.
Even though Ghana does not have any confirmed case of EVD, the country is a hub for various movements to and from the region. For instance, Ghana receives 13 per cent of passengers who embark on planes from three EVD affected countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea.1 As of 9 January 2015, 132 suspected cases in Ghana had all proven negative.
Proactive measures have to be put in place to build the capacity of some key actors to prevent the spread of the EVD across to Ghana. IOM’s prevention activities are focused on two main areas: capacity building on border health surveillance and protection from suspected EVD cases; and information outreach on EDV to raise community awareness of infection prevention and control.
IOM has been active in Ghana since 1987 and has contributed to the efforts of the Government of Ghana to manage migration effectively through a wide variety of projects and programmes.
IOM Accra started its programmes by supporting the institutional capacity-building needs within the country through Phase Two of the Return of Qualified African Nationals (RQAN II) programme (1988-92). This programme facilitated the return of highly qualified African nationals including Ghanaians residing in the diaspora to contribute to the socio-economic development of Ghana by returning home to take up key positions in priority sectors including health, education, economics, finance, public service, and political administration.
Since then, the office has grown to address a variety of migration management needs. During the past 10 years, IOM Accra has been involved in refugee resettlement and the movement of various migrants for family reunification and other opportunities to various countries throughout the world. Other IOM Accra activities include migration policy development, labour migration, migration and development, combating human-trafficking, assisted voluntary returns, border management, information campaigns on the risks and realities of migration, and humanitarian and emergency response.