The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has taken delivery of a Toyota Hilux 2020 model plus sets of personal protective equipment (PPEs) from UK aid to help eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in the country.
While the vehicle was procured at a cost of GH¢266,086, the PPEs consisting of disposable aprons, drapes, surgical gowns, hand sanitizers, caps, sterile latex gloves and surgical nose masks were also procured at a cost of GH¢320,098.
The donation was funded by the UK's Department for International Development through its Accelerating the Sustainable Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ASCEND) Project.
Presenting the items on behalf of UK aid on December 23 in Accra, a Senior Programme Manager of the Sightsavers Ghana, Mr David Agyemang said the elimination of NTDs required collaboration among stakeholders.
He said it was for this reason Sightsavers Ghana was presenting the items funded by the UK aid to the Neglected Disease Programme of the GHS.
“I am very delighted for me to present this vehicle, Toyota Hilux 2020 model and a set of PPEs to the GHS.
“These items were procured with funding from UK aid through its ASCEND project and it is our hope that the GHS will use the items to support the elimination of neglected tropical diseases in Ghana,” he said.
Impact of Sightsavers
Sightsavers is an international non-governmental organisation that works with partners in developing countries to treat and prevent avoidable blindness, and promote equality for people with visual impairments and other disabilities.
It is based in Haywards Heath in the United Kingdom, with branches in Sweden, Norway, India, Italy, Republic of Ireland, the United Arab Emirates, and the USA. Sightsavers has worked in Ghana since the 1950s.
Mr Agyemang observed that in June 2018, Ghana was confirmed as the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate trachoma due to the efforts of the country’s Ministry of Health and partners including Sightsavers.
“Now we are working to eliminate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis too. We tackle these diseases through mass drug administration (MDA), in which medication is given to large sections of the population to prevent the spread of the diseases.
“In 2019, we helped to distribute more than 4.3 million treatments for neglected tropical diseases across the country, and trained more than 13,000 local volunteers to give out medication in their communities.”
Receiving the items, the Programme Manager of NTDs Programme of the GHS, Mr Kofi Asemanyi-Mensah, said the items had come at an opportune time to motivate the frontline staff who were directly involved in handling NTDs cases.
“From the Neglected Tropical Disease Programme of GHS, we also want to express our appreciation for the donation.
“We promise to take very good care of the vehicle and distribute the PPEs to serve its intended purpose,” he added.