IOM Ghana Convenes Meeting on Global Health Security

Posted: 
04/26/16
Themes: 
Migration Health

Ghana - IOM Ghana last week organized a national stakeholders meeting in Accra to kick start a new initiative on the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA).

The GHSA is a growing partnership of over 50 nations, international agencies and NGO stakeholders seeking to help build countries’ capacity in tackling infectious disease threats, as well as elevate global health security as a national and global priority.

GHSA follows a multilateral and multi-sectoral approach to strengthen both global and local capacities in their ability to prevent, detect, and respond to human and animal infectious diseases threats whether naturally occurring, accidentally or deliberately spread.

The IOM Global Health Security Project is funded by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta and will be carried out in collaboration with the government of Ghana and other stakeholders. Its aim is to strengthen capacities to prevent, detect, respond to, and control infectious disease outbreaks at strategic border points, strengthen health security at borders, and mitigate Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEICs) and other health threats.

This has become crucial as a result of the recent Ebola outbreaks in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, which exposed the weaknesses in disease surveillance and health security at Points of Entry and border communities across the sub region. The project is not only being implemented in Ghana, but also in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea Bissau and Senegal.

A key outcome of the stakeholders meeting was the presentation and validation of a National Participatory Mobility Mapping exercise conducted by IOM Accra on 9 March 2016. This exercise drew on expertise from several key sectors, including Ghana Health Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Customs, Ministry of Fisheries, School of Public Health and transport unions.

Its outcome helped to inform IOM and partners on the links between human mobility and health in the Ghanaian context, and to serve as the foundation for the selection of Points of Entry for the programme.

The first year of the GHSA project focuses on two land borders (Aflao and Paga); a cluster of fishing communities around Sekondi-Takoradi, and the Kotoka International Airport.

The national stakeholders meeting was an important first step in the creation of a strong coalition of national actors, including the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Services, Ministry of Fisheries, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Statistical Service and the Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority. They will all play an important role in ensuring the success and sustainability of the programme.

For further information, please contact Papa Kwaw Mensah at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 302 742 930, Email: pkmensah@iom.int