May 10, 2022
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Malaria infection in pregnancy is a major cause of maternal death, maternal anaemia, and other adverse pregnancy outcomes. The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018 estimated that 11 million pregnant women were infected with malaria in areas of moderate and high disease transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. As a result, nearly 900,000 children were born with a low birth weight. It is therefore recommended by the WHO that countries prioritize controlling malaria and its effects during pregnancy.
HFFG with the support of the National Malaria Control Programme, implemented the Malaria Control Project in collaboration with the Twifo Atti-Mokwa District Health Management Team under the National Malaria Control Programmes. The goal of the project was to minimize malaria-related morbidity and mortality burden in the country, especially among pregnant women. The project lasted from July 2021 to December 2021.The implementation took place in 15 communities with high malaria prevalence namely; Kayireku, Mbaabasa, Somnyamekodur, Bepobeng, Moseaso, Nyinase, Abodom, Aboabo, Nyinase Kojokrom, Nuamakrom, Bimpong Egya, Wamaso, Mampoma and Eduabeng.
To achieve the goals of the project, Community Based Agents (CBAs) were selected and empowered to provide community level sensitization on malaria control interventions using the available systems. The CBAs as part of their work identified and linked them to health facilities for to Intermittent Preventive Treatment services.
The agents also sensitized and followed up on the pregnant women to ensure adherence to uptake of Intermittent Preventive Treatment for Pregnant Women. Emerging issues were discussed with stakeholders to resolve them and documentation of best practices.
Hawa, a 22 year old native of Twifo Atti-Mokwa district in the Central region of Ghana was one of the women identified by a CBA. Hawa was suffering from epilepsy right from her childhood and this condition affected her social life. In her first pregnancy, she could not receive and participate in the prenatal care services due to the fear that receiving any of medication could worsen her condition and may facilitate numerous complications. Unfortunately, she lost the baby. “My first pregnancy was lost due to frequent falling and injuries as a result of seizure episodes and loss of consciousness but when I got pregnant for the second time, I was identified by a community based agent under the Malaria Project by HFFG”, Hawa narrated. “The Community Based Agent came to our house one day to educate us about the malaria control interventions and when she realized that I was pregnant, she advised me to start antenatal clinic as soon as possible to receive medical attention and be guided by a health practitioner.”
With the help of the CBA and the HFFG project team, Hawa started attending clinic at Nyinase Community Health-Based Planning Services compound. She was provided with Intermittent Preventive Treatment therapy and subsequently referred to the Twifo Praso Government hospital to receive special medical attention till she successfully gave birth to a set of healthy twins.
“I never experienced malaria infection nor seizure crises throughout my second pregnancy. I completed all my Intermittent Preventive Treatment dosages and also slept consistently under treated mosquito net without any complications. Now I have given birth to beautiful healthy twins. I am grateful to the malaria project team for checking up on me regularly”.
Within the duration of the project, 191 pregnant women from the beneficiary communities were identified and reached with malarial prevention information by the project team. In total 38,033 individuals were reached through various means including (house-to-house, churches, schools, mosques, mobile van announcement, community information centres, community centres, video shows and durbar sensitizations) and through one-on-one education and group discussions.
May 10, 2022
Share onBy HFFG
Hope for Future Generations is an implementing partner of the USAID-funded Ghana’s strengthening Accountability Mechanisms (GSAM) project and it is responsible for activities in the Awutu Senya East Municipal and the Agona East District in the central region. The project seeks to strengthen citizens’ oversight of capital projects to improve local government transparency, accountability, and performance in the delivery of social services. It is also to increase citizens’ participation in the local governance of the country.
The main implementation strategy used by the GSAM Activity has been the Community Scorecard (CSC) process. CSC is a citizen-driven accountability approach for the planning, assessment, monitoring, and evaluation of service delivery. It is designed to enable citizens and service providers to work together to identify and overcome development challenges – such as quality, coverage, distribution, and equity obstacles. The approach, though simple, can systematically pinpoint and help address specific challenges inherent in the service delivery process.
One of the Community Scorecard processes was initiated at a Community Health-Based Planning Services (CHPS compound) centre in Kpormetey, a Muslim-dominated community in the Awutu Senya Municipality in the 4th quarter of 2021. At an interface meeting, the Municipal Development Officer and the Ag. Municipal Health Director as service providers as well as duty bearers came up with opinion leaders and members of the community. One of the issues that came up strongly was the low patronage of the facility by inhabitants of the community.
The chief, elders and the Assembly member of the community were not happy that the facility was wasting away.
“I have regretted giving the land for this project, I may have to let the facility close down for it to be used for another important purpose”, the chief remarked at the meeting. Other community members were also not happy.
“In fact, the facility has not been beneficial to us at all, the staff should have remained under the tree to provide their services”, another opinion leader said.
When suggestions were being made to resolve the issue, one of the nurses hinted that a community member had indicated to him that the facility has no Muslim nurse and that is making the community members not to patronize the facility. It was also learnt from a participant that the community members frown on a non-Muslim diagnosing them as it is not acceptable to them.
The Municipal Health Director then promised that a Muslim nurse would be posted to the facility and that was done the next day.
Data from the facility and the Kasoa North Sub-District indicates that attendance has improved tremendously since the Muslim nurse was posted to the facility, as indicated in the table shown below. The staff at the facility were very instrumental in the COVID-19 vaccination.
“We are satisfied with the attendance now and will serve them professionally”, a nurse indicated to the writer during his routine monitoring visit to the facility.
This has prompted the Awutu Senya East Municipal Assembly to supply the facility with additional medical equipment and renovate it. The improvement in attendance has made the Health Directorate promise to elevate the facility to a health centre very soon.
This is an indication that social accountability should be embraced and institutionalized for the people to benefit greatly from capital infrastructural projects implemented by local government authorities.
April 25, 2022
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Continued investment efforts and sustained political commitment to malaria control are inevitably among the key majors’ catalyzers for malaria elimination. With the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions in malaria services have contributed to a significant increase in malaria cases (14 million) and deaths (69,000) between 2019 and 2020 according to the WHO World Malaria Report 2021, with most of this increase occurring in countries in the African region.
During the pandemic, countries and their partners managed to avoid the worst-case scenario of malaria deaths by mounting an urgent response. Despite the challenges linked to COVID-19, we commend the global community and national malaria control programs for their efforts to maintain prevention and treatment programs. The World Health Organization (WHO) 2021 annual report highlights that many of the endemic countries have been successful in distributing bed nets door-to-door for example.
April 04, 2022
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Madam Josephine is a teacher and single mother of 22 year old Serwaa, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. Being the primary caregiver of a child with mental health condition (cerebral palsy), Madam Josephine belongs to a self-help group in the Greater Accra Region where she, with other caregivers provide support for each other.
Under the Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) and stigma reduction for mental health and disability inclusion (Ghana Participatory SBC) project, being implemented by Hope for Future Generations and The PsykForum Consortium, with funding from the UK Government, a caregivers’ training session was organized in December 2021. The objective of the session was to empower caregivers on the needs of people with disabilities and how to contribute to reducing the barriers they face at living a meaningful life. The objective of the session was premised on the fact that both people with disabilities including those with mental health conditions and their caregivers face stigma and discrimination in their everyday lives.
Stigma and discrimination is grave when caregivers are not properly orientated on the needs of people with disabilities including mental health conditions. There is also enormous pressure on caregivers as they may have other responsibilities apart from caring for people with disabilities. These pressures may lead to accumulated stress which may result in abuse and ill-treatment of people with disabilities, depression among caregivers and other medical related problems. Empowering caregivers on stress management was aimed at helping them cope better so that they are able to provide quality care for their loved ones. Other topics that were treated at the session included: Needs and rights of people with disabilities including people mental health conditions, Stigma and Discrimination, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Psychosocial Support and Referral services.
Madam Josephine was a participant at the caregivers training session in December 2021. At the session, participants were encouraged to take breaks in the care of their loved ones from time to time, arrange support for care so they are able to rejuvenate and subsequently be able to better provide continued quality care.
After the training session, Madam Josephine has been making significant changes in her life as a caregiver and that of her daughter to improve upon their lives. Her first change was taking time off her care routine and second was improving her psychosocial support for her daughter. She wrote ‘I took time off from “DJ” (my daughter who lives with cerebral Palsy). I went to Kumasi to visit my elder Sister and her family….I left Serwaa with her grandma and spent some few days touring Kumasi. The change of environment was awesome because I relaxed from the “pressures” of staying in Accra’.
Subsequently, Madam Josephine and her daughter were invited under the project for a photoshoot session which she was very pleased to do. Nearly living her life indoors, Serwaa had a refreshing moment during the field trip. Serwaa met new people and made new friends and she was very happy. Madam Josephine further resolved to be taking her daughter out more often as she realised that her daughter had fun during the road trip.
The confidence of Madam Josephine has improved as she now posts her daughter’s pictures on her social media (WhatsApp platform).
March 31, 2022
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Tuberculosis (TB) remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization, each day, over 4100 people lose their lives to TB and close to 28,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Data available on the website of Stop TB Partnership shows that in 2020, among the estimated 44,000 people who developed TB in Ghana, 6,600 were children.
Each year, World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is commemorated on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB pandemic. The theme of World TB Day 2022 was ‘Invest to End TB. Save Lives’.
Hope for Future Generations, a member of the Stop TB Partnership joined the national commemoration of World TB Day held at the Ministry of Health Conference Room on the 24th of March, 2022. The event was well attended by stakeholders within the health sector. The Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations, Mrs Cecelia Senoo, serving as the Chairperson for the event noted that though Ghana has been doing a lot in its TB response, it is time for the country to step up efforts to bridge the funding gap of 40 million USD.
Mrs Senoo called for gender transformative programming in TB responses in line with the new strategy by the Global Fund to fight TB, HIV and Malaria.
Dr Yaw Adusi-Poku, Programme Manager of the National TB Control Programme said the global theme calls for more efforts from stakeholders to help eradicate TB. He advocated for investment for more resources into newer and effective diagnostics, medicines, vaccines, and tools to combat tuberculosis.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, disclosed that the Service had signed a performance contract with its Regional Directors to roll out strategic interventions to find the missing TB cases nationwide.
Alhaji Sei Seini, the Deputy Minister for Health, said government in partnership with Global Fund will ensure adequate support will be given to the TB programme. He entreated all health workers and TB professionals to continue the good work they have been doing to help end TB in Ghana.
As part of activities to mark World TB Day 2022, HFFG also joined TB partners in Ghana to brief the Parliamentary select committee on health to advocate for legislative support and investment to end TB. HFFG in partnership with STOP TB Partnership (Geneva), National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP), Ghana Health Service and One Impact have secured a grant from STOP TB Partnership/UNOPS to implement a one-year Project (TBImpact – Ghana). This project is aimed at capacitating affected communities to lead the designing, implementation and monitoring of TB interventions, as well as promoting accessible, equitable and quality TB services in Greater Accra, Central and Volta Regions of Ghana.
March 24, 2022
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The Global Fund to fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) recently adopted its new Strategy:
Fighting Pandemics and Building a Healthier and More Equitable World (2023 – 2028). The Strategy
includes a reinforcing contributory objective to maximizing health equity, gender equality and human rights. At the same time the Global Fund adopted a new Global Disease Split at its 46 Board meeting which increased potential resources for TB. That is, any additional funds for
country allocations above US$ 12 billion will be apportioned at 25% to TB for this grant cycle, compared to 18% in previous cycles. We hope that this direction – together with stronger efforts to support women’s rights – will be a game changer and lead to more gender transformative TB response.
March 02, 2022
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In January 2022, HFFG presented sets of Sewing machines, Knitting and Embroidery machines and accessories to the No Weapon Fashion Design; a social enterprise established under the UNAIDS Solidarity Fund, Social Enterprise Development (SED) project being implemented by HFFG.
The Social Enterprise Development (SED) is funded by the UNAIDS Solidarity Fund, which aims to improve the socio-economic status of young people and young women adversely and disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
No Weapon Fashion Design is located in the Kpone-Katamanso area and it will serve the Ashaiman, Bethlehem, Afariwa, community 22, Michel Camp and its neighbouring communities. The services provided include sewing apparel for different occasions, mainly for women and children and providing mentorships to apprentices in the communities interested in fashion.
The beneficiaries expressed their appreciation to UNAIDS and HFFG saying;
This project has equipped us with the necessary skills that we need for our Fashion Design Centre to thrive. We are grateful, and we hope that we can impact young girls within the community with our free apprenticeship training when it is been rolled out.Delali Gotah, Beneficiary
The long-term plan of No Weapon Fashion Design is to set up a training school in fashion design for young women in the area who would like alternative livelihoods.
March 02, 2022
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The Y+ app, an initiative of UNDP that seeks to provide psychosocial support to Young People Living with HIV (YPLHIV) was launched in Accra on 17th January 2022 by the United Nations Development Programme and the 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.
The app provides accurate health information with expert resources for YPLHIV. UNDP collaborated with YHAG in the development of the app. On 12th February 2022, the app was introduced to regional members across the 7 regions of Ghana where YHAG is present. The Y+ app will continually undergo iteration based on the needs of the YPLHIV.
Some YHAG members expressed their excitement about the Y+app and its relevance for YPLHIV.
“The app is an innovative initiative being the first of its kind, I know it will help me with easy access to mentors on my health issues.”Prince, YHAG Member.
“I love the way the app is designed, I’m excited about how it connects other YPLHIV, especially since it has a chat box. It’s a nice way to connect us.”Kate, YHAG Member
Ms. Priscilla Addo, the National President of YHAG remarked that Y+ will make it easier for adolescents and YPLHIV to plan their appointments with the hospital. “I see it as an accurate and accessible way of getting digital health information,” she added.
In a related development, in January and February, several YHAG members participated in a Digital Health Rights research program organized by NAP+ Ghana and Graduate Research Institute in Geneva. The research study took place in 3 regions: Accra, Ashanti and Northern. YHAG participants were asked how they access digital health information on their mobile devices and how important privacy is to them.
March 02, 2022
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The prevalence of HIV among adolescents and young people is an issue of great concern given that many African countries including Ghana have youthful populations (UNAIDS, 2013), Ghana). According to the Ghana AIDS Commission (HSS 20I9), new HIV infections among the youth (15-25) accounted for 28% and 15% for (0-14).
Adolescents living with HIV globally experience multiple challenges associated with their condition and various social, environmental, economic, and cultural factors. To mitigate these challenges, there is the need to understand the circumstances and needs of adolescents living with HIV in designing adolescent-friendly interventions for successful outcomes. In 2019, The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) selected HFFG as an implementing partner for the UNFPA Out of School (OOS) SRHR Project in the Northern, Ashanti, and the Greater Accra Regions of Ghana.
The three-year Sexual and Reproductive Health Right (SRHR) project has its key beneficiaries as Young People Living with HIV (YPLHIV), as well as Young People in Detention (YPiDs).
Project Goal and objectives
The intervention seeks to empower and equip adolescents and young people with quality and adequate information on their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) to enable them to make healthy choices.
Additionally, the project seeks to provide linkages for additional services with health (especially at the ART Units) and the social justice system (if they are abused or denied basic human rights because of their status).
Key activities and achievements.
The project kicked off with an engagement with key stakeholders for their buy-in and support. The meetings were held with Regional Health Directors and Regional HIV Focal Persons, as well as the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit (DOVVSU), Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Social Welfare, Regional Public Health Nurse and the Metro Public Health Nurse. The support of these heads was solicited in making the implementation a success.
In 2020, a total of 415 young people (20-24) females were mobilized and empowered with quality and adequate information on SRHR to enable them to make healthy choices about their well-being.
Furthermore, 40 YPLHIV comprising of 28 females and 12 males were trained in four skill areas, whilst some YPiDs benefitted from training as peer facilitators. In addition, about 20 Young Persons in detention (YPiD) were trained as peer facilitators and 20 YPLHIVs were also empowered with leadership skills through participation in the National SDG’s Youth summit.
In 2021, a total of 216 beneficiaries received comprehensive SRHR education under the project, whilst 40 beneficiaries received training in bakery and wig-making.
This training has economically and psychologically empowered the beneficiaries to live a meaningful life in society.
The UNFPA Out of School (OOS) project has been vital in the growth of beneficiaries, especially in giving them the confidence to make informed decisions about their health and sexual practices.
Munira Osman 21, is a beneficiary from the northern region of Ghana. As a young person living with HIV, she notes that this project has given her the confidence to accept her condition and take the necessary steps to safeguard her health and also protect others.
Through experience sharing with other YLPHIV on the project, I have committed to adhere to my HIV medication and also make healthy choices that will not ruin my future. The project has also connected me to some health professionals who assist me with counselling services. I want to become a nurse someday so that I can also help young people living with HIV who visit my hospital for healthcareMunira, Beneficiary.
Like Munira, Hakim Mohammed another beneficiary says the project has empowered him to know that HIV can’t stop him from reaching his full potential.
I have learned many things about teenage pregnancies and how to prevent Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Additionally, I have basic skills in bakery, so with the knowledge gained, I believe I can achieve my goals.Hakim Mohammed, Beneficiary
February 04, 2022
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Cancer is a large group of diseases that can start in almost any organ or tissue of the body when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably, go beyond their usual boundaries to invade adjoining parts of the body and/or spread to other organs and tissues.
According to the World Health Organization, it is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths, or one in six deaths, in 2018. Lung, prostate, colorectal, stomach and liver cancer are the most common types of cancer in men, while breast, colorectal, lung, cervical and thyroid cancer are the most common among women.
The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) stipulates that 70% of cancer deaths occur in low to middle-income countries. In Ghana, it is estimated that 24, 009 cases of cancer occur annually, yielding an age-standardized rate of 115.9 cases per 100,000 persons (GLOBOCAN 2020).
Research has proven that at least one-third of common cancers are preventable, however, due to low awareness of cancer in Ghana, most of the cases presented at health facilities are brought when cancer is well advanced hence the high loss of lives.
As Ghana marks World Cancer Day on February 4, 2022, with the theme, ‘close the care gap’, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) as a national women-focused and community-based non-governmental organization calls on stakeholders to boost national conversations on equity in cancer care as well as preventive measures.
In the spirit of Ghana’s Universal Health Coverage roadmap, closing the cancer care gap means we must work to remove the barriers that exist for many people in accessing services and receiving the care they need. Every individual in Ghana must have timely access to high-quality cancer care services irrespective of his or her financial status.
HFFG further calls 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 at all levels.
We also call on government and the private health facilities to integrate cervical and breast cancer screening into OPD services for women above for 40 years and HIV services for Persons Living with HIV.
Let’s unite and join hands to raise awareness and educate people on the various type of cancers and the need for early detection to save lives.