April 13, 2021
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After a eighteen (18) months of championing advocacy to end malaria in Ghana and Africa, the Youth Leaders for Health (YL4H) programme, a joint initiative by RESULTS-UK, Hope for Future Generations, CISMAT-SL (Sierra Leone), Health Promotion Tanzania- HDT and WACI Health has marked its official close-out event to end the programme.
The close-out event was held in Accra at the Coconut Grove Hotel on 24th March 2021. In attendance were the Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations, Mrs. Cecilia Senoo and the Deputy Director General of Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Adofo-Ofosu.
The short ceremony highlighted the achievements of the youth leaders programme, the activities implemented as well as sharing of experiences and lessons learnt over the period.
The Youth leaders seized the opportunity to also call on the Government of Ghana to increase its domestic funding and resources to end malaria.
Eleven Youth Leaders from Ghana were presented with citations for their participation in and contribution to the success of the Youth Leaders for Health programme in the country.
Also, solidarity messages were taken from Rosemary Mburu of WACI Health and Pushpanath Krishnamurthy from Results UK where they both urged the leaders to continue voicing out for change.
Speaking at the event, the Deputy Director General of Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Adofo-Ofosu urged the Youth Leaders to take advantage of the networks built over the period of their advocacy to drive future partnerships in malaria programming. He encouraged all to not relent in their quest to impact lives positively but to continue the advocacy even as the project ends.
The Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations, Mrs. Senoo, congratulated the Youth Leaders for demonstrating great abilities in advocacy and leadership over the period. She entreated them to see the end as the beginning in order to maintain the momentum in the work. She presented the HFFG organisational cloth to all the Youth Leaders, which she explained is a gesture that they are part and welcomed into the organisation.
The Youth Leaders for Health Programme has achieved among others:
To read more on the YL4H programme click here.
April 12, 2021
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President Nana Akufo-Addo on 31st March 2021, launched a US$238 million Global Fund grant to augment Ghana’s efforts to end HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. The grant is to finance key interventions under the Global Fund’s New Funding Model III (NFMIII) which spans 2021 to 2023.
Through its partnership with Ghana, the Global Fund has for nearly two decades relentlessly supported the country in improving its health systems and combating diseases especially HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.
With the receipt of the NFMIII grant, Ghana would have benefited a cumulative US$1 billion from the Global Fund, according to Dr Francis Chisaka Kasolo, the WHO Country Representative to Ghana and Interim Chair of the Ghana Country Coordinating Mechanism.
In his speech, President Akufo-Addo said the grant would accelerate progress in achieving lower “morbidity and mortality in Malaria, HIV and TB, towards the achievement of the UNAIDS 90-90-90 HIV treatment targets.’’ That is: 90% of HIV-positive people should know their status; 90% of HIV-positive people who know their status are put on treatment; 90% of people on antiretroviral therapy should have suppressed viral load.
Again, he stated that the new funds also aim to “expand detection of TB cases and TB treatment coverage as well as a construction of an in-patient facility for the management of drug resistant TB patients at Nsawam.” The president urged the Ministry of Health to ensure that the grant is used for its purpose and to monitor and control the quality of service to be provided against the three diseases.
The Head of Grant Management at the Global Fund, Mr. Mark Edintong, disclosed that the grant is an investment into Ghana’s national strategies and it is their hope that the following objectives would be achieved at the end of the NFMIII.
The American Ambassador to Ghana, Ms. Stephanie Sullivan in her speech revealed the US governments commitment towards the Global Fund. She stated that the country remains the largest contributor to the Global Fund and has recently made a “$3.5 billion dollars contribution to the Global Fund specifically for the COVID-19 response, of which Ghana will soon access up to $70 million to address the pandemic.”
Also present at the event were leaders and representatives from Civil Society Organisations involved in the implementation of interventions under the NFMIII grant as well as other national and international partners including Hope for Future Generations, Ghana West African Program to Combat AIDS and STI (WAPCAS), Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), UNAIDS, the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and more.
Remarkably, Hope for Future Generations aired videos of some works and success stories of community cadres’ engagements in HIV and TB under the Community System Strengthening intervention implemented with WAPCAS as the principal recipient on the NFMII grant.
April 08, 2021
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Seventy-four members of eight Community Health Management Committees (CHMC) in the Ada West and Ningo-Prampram districts in the Greater Accra region have participated in a two-day capacity strengthening workshop on primary health care. This is part of a five months project on primary health care being implemented by Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) with support from Population Action International (PAI).
The workshop is one of many under the project which seeks to increase community participation in the delivery of primary health in Ghana. Participants were taken through the fundamentals of primary health care and the concept of Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) in Ghana. The workshop sought to elaborate the roles of key players in CHPS implementation, focusing particularly on the significant contributions that the CHMCs can make in improving healthcare delivery in their communities. It also supported the committee members to develop Community Health Action Plans specific to their zones to guide their work and as a tool for advocacy.
The participants had the opportunity to identify and refresh their memories on how they can effect long- lasting positive change within their communities.
Prior to this workshop, most of the members of the CHMCs had not received any training on their roles and appreciated the opportunity to know what was expected of them and how they could work.
April 08, 2021
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Adolescent reproductive issues continue to be a challenge in the country characterized by misconceptions, socio-cultural barriers, lack of access to adequate and accurate information about sexual and reproductive health leading to high-risk activities including unprotected sex and its related problems.
With Funding support from UNESCO, Hope For Future Generations liaised with key government and community stakeholders, including Ghana Health Service, Ghana Education Service, parents among others to select and train twenty young people to serve as agents for HIV prevention. They provide accurate and adequate information about Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) issues in ten project beneficiary communities across the Sunyani East and Berekum East Municipalities.
As agents of change, these twenty young and out of school adolescent/young people have devoted their time and energy to support HIV prevention using small groups and one-on-one peer education/peer counseling. Though the activity is ongoing, a total of 344 young people have been reached with information on HIV prevention as at March 30th 2021. Out of the number reached, 228 are females and 116 males. Young people living with HIV were targeted with information on positive living, adherence to treatment, nutrition among other things.
Other activities conducted under the project include:
April 08, 2021
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Having successfully led the implementation of the Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) intervention under the WAPCAS/Global Fund grant, New Funding Model II (NFMII), between 2018 and 2020, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) has again been selected as a sub-recipient with the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) as the principal recipient to lead the HIV component of the Global Fund New Funding Model III (NFMIII) grant from January 2021 to December 2023.
The NFMIII is a continuation of NFM2, building on the key achievements, successes and lessons learned. While the objectives and goals for NFM3 remain the same as that of NFMIII (click here to learn more about the goals and objectives) there is a scale up to include more regions and districts. The project now covers all the 16 regions in Ghana with HFFG leading the implementation of the HIV component in nine (9) regions which are as follows: Oti, Volta, Greater Accra, Ashanti, Western, Western North, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions. In these regions, one hundred and twelve (112) districts and one hundred and forty-three (143) health facilities are listed to benefit from the NFM3 grant.
Additionally, the HIV component under the NFMIII grant has been expanded to include a diverse community of cadres particularly, adolescents as Community Adolescent Treatment Supporters (CATS), Mentor Mothers intervention as well as NACP Case Managers who will strengthen the linkage between the volunteers and their facilities towards achieving the 95-95-95 HIV targets. This will ensure a holistic approach to addressing the various needs of all HIV community members.
Work on NFM3 has begun with an orientation for all project officers under the grant. The one-day training took place at the head office of HFFG on 2nd February 2021. Project Officers were taken through the goal, roadmap of the CSS, their roles and responsibilities as well as strategies, best practices and targets for the NFMIII. Again, all Staff have been oriented on the Global Fund Code of Conduct, Conflict of Interest and Human Rights Policies and all other relevant policies of the Global Fund.
The project team has also conducted a familiarization visit to all selected districts/municipalities for the implementation of NFMIII as well as introducing the current phase of the project to all District Health Management Teams and In-charges of all health facilities in which the project already existed.
February 04, 2021
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As Ghana joins the rest of the world to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, we are, as a national women-focused, community-based non-governmental organization, calling on the government of Ghana and other key stakeholders not to overlook the impact of cervical cancer on women in Ghana.
As we commemorate World Cancer Day on February 4, 2021, we urge the government of Ghana to invest in interventions that mitigate the impact of cervical cancer which is the leading and most common female cancer among women in Ghana. Data from the HPV Information Centre estimates that about “3,151 new cervical cancer cases are diagnosed annually in Ghana, and despite the fact it is preventable and treatable, it is estimated that over 2000 cervical cancer deaths are recorded in Ghana annually”. This is why we believe that attention should still be paid to the cervical cancer response even as we combat Covid-19.
We are calling on the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and all allied agencies to ensure there is the availability of affordable essential medicines and technologies required to control all forms of cancers among women.
Cervical cancer is treatable when diagnosed early so there should be equity in access to quality cancer services throughout the country. Many women in Ghana do not access cervical cancer screening or treatment because they are unable to pay. To us, this is not right and for that matter, the country should explore means to include cervical cancer treatment in the National Health Insurance Scheme.
Life-saving cancer diagnosis and treatment should be available for all. Thus, we emphasize that no Ghanaian woman’s chances of surviving cervical cancer should be based on her ability to pay for health services or not.
According to a study led by Dr Kofi Effah of the Obstetric and Gynaecological Department at the Cervical Cancer Screening and Training Center, Catholic Hospital, Battor, Ghana, approximately two-thirds (65.97%) of cervical cancer cases are presented at hospitals in their advanced stage. Awareness and early detection through regular screening will reduce this and ensure women receive intervention so cervical lesions do not develop into full-blown cancer.
The World Health Organization further notes that women living with HIV have a six-fold increased risk of cervical cancer when compared to women without HIV. HFFG also recommended that cervical cancer screening should be integrated into HIV-programming for women and girls living with HIV at all levels of HIV treatment cascade.
As we mark World Cancer Day today, we encourage Ghanaian women, aged 21 years and above to regularly screen for cervical cancer to avert late-stage presentation of the disease.
World Cancer Day is celebrated each year on 4 February to raise awareness on all forms of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. This year’s theme, “I can, we can” acknowledges that everyone has the capacity to address the cancer burden.
According to the World Health Organization, globally, cervical cancer is the fourth most frequent cancer in women with an estimated 570,000 new cases in 2018 representing 7.5% of all female cancer deaths.
We are committed to increasing awareness and uptake of screening by Ghanaian women. In 2018, HFFG initiated a Cervical Cancer Awareness and Screening intervention aimed at reaching Ghanaian women with information on Cervical Cancer screening services.
As part of this, HFFG sponsored three nurses to be trained at the Cervical Cancer Prevention and Training Centre in Battor, Ghana. These nurses assist in the identification of precancerous lesions in women through community outreaches.
December 21, 2020
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A delegation from Young Health Advocates Ghana (YHAG), a national network of young people working to prevent HIV among young Ghanaians under the auspices of Hope for Future Generations on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, paid a courtesy call on the Presidential Advisor on HIV in Ghana, Dr. Mokowa Blay Adu-Gyamfi.
The delegation led by the Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations, Mrs. Cecilia Senoo and the National President for YHAG Ms. Priscilla Addo was to formally introduce the work of YHAG to Dr. Adu-Gyamfi and to bring to her notice some challenges facing young people living with HIV in Ghana.
Ms. Priscilla Addo, the National President of YHAG presented the organisation’s profile to Dr. Adu-Gyamfi and solicited her support for young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) in Ghana to be included in the formulation of national policies and strategic plans that affect them. According to Ms. Addo, granting YPLHIV such platforms will ensure their challenges are addressed. She added that there are over twenty-one thousand YPLHIV currently in Ghana facing many challenges including stigma which leads to nondisclosure of status; battling with side effects from ARVs, discrimination, persistent shortage of ARVs in Ghana which results in one defaulting treatment and eventually building drug resistance. “Despite these challenges, the country has no national intervention focusing on YPLHIV’’, she said.
The Presidential Advisor on HIV, Dr. Mokowa Blay Adu Gyamfi expressed her surprise towards the rise in HIV cases among young people in Ghana. She indicated that the current prevalence of HIV among the youth may have generated from the fact that national interventions on HIV since 1986 when the first HIV case arrived in Ghana have not paid exclusive attention to children who were born after that year. She stated that the high cases of HIV among the youth is an “emergency” that needs to be addressed and promised to bring this to the attention of the President of Ghana and the First Lady.
Dr. Adu-Gyamfi was however gratified to see that such a well organised network of young advocates are leading the cause to prevent HIV among Ghanaian youths and promised her full support for YHAG in addressing the challenges facing YPLHIV in Ghana particularly on the issue of ARV shortages. She encouraged the Young Health Advocates to continue to speak out and make their voices heard. “You are a force to reckon with”, she added.
Adding her voice, the Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations, Mrs. Cecilia Senoo, appealed to Dr. Adu-Gyamfi to support their call to the Ministry of Finance to provide a perpetual approval of tax waivers on consignments of ARVs that are shipped into the country. According to her, the late approval of the tax waivers is the leading cause of ARV shortages in the country.
December 10, 2020
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The COVID-19 pandemic is having a serious negative impact on the most vulnerable communities worldwide and threatens progress on HIV, TB, malaria and all areas of health. To this end, Hope For Future Generations, a member of the Global Fund Advocacy Network in Africa (GFAN Africa) is leading the GFAN Africa #TheBeatContinues campaign in Ghana.
This campaign is in line with the Global Fund’s unite to fight campaign which seeks to defeat COVID-19 and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the fight against HIV, TB and malaria.
The key messages for the campaign are:
To defeat COVID-19 and safeguard the critical fight against HIV, TB & malaria, additional domestic and international funding is needed.
To defeat COVID-19, the response must address gender barriers, stigma & discrimination, and protect human rights.
To defeat COVID-19, protect progress against HIV, TB and malaria, and save lives, we must unite to fight.
December 03, 2020
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A strong civil society is essential for improving water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) /and Water Resource Management (WRM) governance, which remains a challenge in achieving universal access to sustainable services. In the last 5 years, Watershed empowering citizens strategic partnership has been working in Ghana to increase local CSO/citizen empowerment and engagement with government for WASH and WRM prioritisation, integration, and equitable financing.
The role of Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) as a local implementing partner for SIMAVI on the intervention was to implement the programme at the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal area to improve WASH and IWRM services through citizen’s empowerment and generation of data for evidence-based WASH advocacy.
HFFG worked closely in collaboration with other Watershed partners, the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), Community Based Organisations (CBOs) operating in WASH sector in the Tarkwa Municipality. The programme was implemented in 15 selected communities out of the 438 communities that forms the Tarkwa Nsueam Municipality.
Through the work of HFFG and partners, the Tarkwa Municipal Assembly identified and repaired 63 broken WASH facilities in addition to construction of new Water points. Again, the Tarkwa Assembly trained and revamped community Water and Sanitation Management Teams (WSMTs) in 40 communities .
Indeed the Watershed Ghana partnership has delivered many improvements in the governance and management of water resources and WASH services through evidence-based advocacy and strengthened the capacity of local civil society organizations. With the project closed-up in September 2020, the Watershed Ghana partners hosted the end of project event in October 2020 to highlight the contributions of the project towards WASH and WRM improvements in Ghana and to identify and leverage partnerships beyond the project.
Watch the close out event below:
December 01, 2020
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Every year, on 1st December, the world commemorates World AIDS Day. On this day, the world unites to show support for people living with and affected by HIV and to remember those who lost their lives to the pandemic. The celebration also brings focus on the country/world interventions to end HIV. This year is another opportunity to demonstrate solidarity and take stock of what has been achieved so far in ensuring that HIV does not continue to erode gains made by countries at various fronts of their economies and the building of their human capital, realizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the provision of HIV services, treatment and care putting more people at risk. The theme for this year is Global solidarity, shared responsibility.
According to UNAIDS, as at 2019, adults and children living with HIV in Ghana were estimated to be 342.307. Females living with HIV in 2019 was also estimated to be 219.986, representing 64% of PLHIV. The statistics continue to show a gendered infection in Ghana at the detriment of women and girls. Numerous efforts: investments of resources, targeted interventions, as well as research and development have led to immense progress in prevention, treatment and care to defeat HIV. The very recent study results showing the effectiveness of long-acting injectable medicines (cabotegravir) for preventing HIV among women; the positive opinion on the effectiveness of the Dapivirine vaginal ring to reduce the risk of HIV infection for women add to the progress made towards defeating the disease. According to UNAIDS, globally, increased access to HIV treatment has averted around 12.1 million AIDS-related deaths since 2010. This victory calls for celebration as it has led to significant reduction of HIV transmission and related deaths. The progress though remarkable, has been unequal, notably in expanding access to antiretroviral therapy.
Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting HIV prevention, treatment and care services as well as reversing gains made to defeat the disease as governments divert greater health resources into fighting COVID-19. According to UNAIDS, a six-month complete disruption in HIV treatment could cause more than 500,000 additional deaths in sub-Saharan Africa over the next year (2020–2021), bringing the region back to the 2008 HIV mortality levels.
Adolescent girls and young women continue to face unacceptably high risks of HIV infection in high-burden countries as the case is in Ghana. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been exacerbated by lock downs and prolonged periods of being out of school, which has led to early marriage, unplanned pregnancies, gender based violence and reduced enrolment of girls in school, increasing their vulnerability.
More than ever, there is need for urgent and relentless efforts by governments, donors, the private sector, civil society and communities to ensure continued focus on HIV interventions. This will help sustain efforts to defeat HIV and to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on HIV to avert new infections and deaths.
Agile Leadership and engagement of communities are necessary for a successful HIV response. Community involvement and solidarity have been paramount in providing people affected by HIV with information, services, social protection and hope. There is need for this kind of solidarity by all stakeholders to defeat HIV.
Putting people at the center of the HIV and COVID-19 response and grounding the efforts in human rights and gender-responsive approaches are key to ending the two diseases. Realizing the extreme vulnerability of young women and girls, there is need to scale up prevention programmes for adolescent girls and young women for prevention, care and treatment services. There is the need for greater commitment to health through increased allocation of domestic and international resources for health and the efficient allocation and use of the resources. This will help defeat HIV and COVID-19 and prevent further loss of gains towards the critical fight against HIV. Efforts to defeat the two diseases must guarantee that everyone, everywhere, has access to healthcare they need whenever they need it. No one should be left behind because healthcare is a human right whose access should not at all depend on a person’s financial prowess.
The COVID-19 crisis is a wake-up call, an opportunity to invest better, and together, for desired health outcomes. Largely, the end of HIV as a public health threat and the achievement of sustainable development goal 3 on the health and wellbeing for all is dependent on how well COVID-19 is tackled.
By Cecilia Senoo
Executive Director, Hope for Future Generations and Focal Person-GFAN-Africa, Ghana.