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HFFG under the USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project advocates for ART unit for Bamiankor Health Centre

Continuous and easy access to antiretroviral therapy is key to the global response to end AIDS. Bamiankor Health Centre in Nzema East District, Ghana was formally a facility that picked up antiretroviral therapy drugs (ARVs) from Axim Government Hospital for HIV positive clients identified within its territory. The facility became inactive for clients due to funds for nurses’ transportation to Axim Government Hospital every month for drugs pick-up. As a result, the few people on treatment at the facility defaulted because they could not also get money for transportation to go for their drugs at Axim.

Due to these challenges, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) allocated some funds meant to follow-up on defaulters available to facility nurses to pick-up ARVs from Axim Government Hospital, in order to reduce the rate of defaulters in Nzema East District. HFFG staff with the support from USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project also made available extra supply of ARVs to Bamiankor Health Centre from Axim Government Hospital every month to aid newly identified and initiated PLHIV during outreaches.

As a result of this new initiative of drugs pick up to Bamianko Health Centre, all cases identified are initiated the same day due to the supply of drugs from Axim Government Hospital. Highlighting on the aim, clients were also advised to prepare for viral load samples taking which occurs after 6 months of being on medication. The viral load testing is only done at Axim Government Hospital and it is compulsory for all clients to take part to check viral load suppression.

In order to sustain this initiative, HFFG decided to engage facility heads to be able to allocate some funds derived by the hospital to support deliver drugs to other health facilities which may have more PLHIV, but lack drugs for initiation which didn’t work out due to lack of funds.

The effort didn’t end there. HFFG followed up with JSI and Axim ART Centre to facilitate the process of making Bamianko an ART Centre with trained nurses to manage the place. JSI also followed up with the Regional Director of Health Services and the District Director of Health Services for the initiative. Now the dream has become a reality. In this month of April, 2021 Bamianko Health Centre has been declared an ART Centre with trained nurses to manage the place.

All logistics have also been sent to the facility to facilitate the process. Clients under USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project now, other clients and future ones in and around Bamianko ART Centre will have easy access to their medications to prevent defaulters and lost to follow up (LTFU). This in the long way will contribute to effective case management and viral load suppression.

Thanks to HFFG, JSI and USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project.

HFFG is committed to shaping the lives of women, children and young people by giving them equal opportunities to live a better life. Just as we have been doing in the past 20 years, the first quarter of 2021 saw us continuing to work hard in the various communities we operate in throughout Ghana.

We are excited to share with you news on our selection as a sub-recipient by the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG) to lead the HIV component of the Community Systems Strengthening intervention under the Global Fund New Funding Model III.As an organization guided by the use of advocacy at all levels to improve lives and achieve long lasting impact, we are equally glad to share with you updates on our activities largely focusing on advocacy at different levels.

Read our Newsletter HERE

26th April, 2021

The World Immunization Week is celebrated annually during the last week of April as a global campaign to raise awareness on the importance of vaccines and immunization in protecting people against vaccine-preventable diseases. Immunization is essential to the wellbeing of everyone; therefore, its importance cannot be overemphasized. The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF note that immunization and vaccines save millions of lives every year.

This year’s World Immunization Week theme, “Vaccine Brings Us Closer”, among others, urges greater engagements and conversation around immunization globally and emphasizes how vaccination connects people, helping improve the health of everyone, including ways that promote growth, development, and wellbeing.

To give meaning to the theme, the Ghana Immunization Advocacy Initiative (IAI) Network, comprising SEND GHANA, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), and Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) plan to hold series of campaign activities. These include engagement sessions with health system decision-makers on immunization financing at all levels of government, raising awareness on the importance of routine immunization at the community level, and building confidence and trust among citizens, leading to increased vaccine acceptance.

The Network holds the view that the government’s commitment to immunization financing is low. Presently, the government is utilizing an unspecified portion of the National Health Fund (NHF) to support the procurement of vaccines and routine immunization activities. This may not be sustainable and could present serious challenges for securing vaccines for immunizing children under 5. The outbreak of COVID-19 and Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) in 2020 brought additional challenges to the health sector, further exposing the existential financial gaps faced by the sector. Despite this, the budgetary allocation as its percentage share of the National Budget experienced a marginal decline from 7.66% in 2020 to 7.5% in 2021.

Against this background and further to the IAI intended actions, the network makes the following recommendations for consideration by the government and the African Union (AU).

  1. Find the fiscal space to sustain an increase in budgetary allocation to the health sector, and increasing budget support for the expanded programme on immunization. Revenue realized from COVID-19 levy and any potential revenue influx should be broadened to cover all vaccines and immunization related services.
  1. Set aside a dedicated budget to finance Epidemic Preparedness and implementation of the National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS), as well as the Ghana Centre for Disease Control to respond to the threat of epidemics.
  1. Expedite procurement of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and increase public awareness to ensure that the progress made in addressing vaccine hesitancy within the period is not eroded. Additionally, people living within the meningitis belt must be vaccinated against CSM, and children from the age of 0-2years received all 13 vaccines to protect them against preventable diseases.
  1. Invest in research and development, build the capacity of local pharmaceutical companies to respond to Ghana’s immunization needs and future pandemics through local vaccine manufacturing and development programs.
  1. The AU should explore ways to harness the potential of Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to promote continent-based solutions to the health needs of the people. As a medium to long-term approach, the AU could begin to produce vaccines within, to increase vaccine security and reduce procurement from outside the continent.


George Osei-Bimpeh

(Country Director, SEND GHANA)

For interviews, please contact:

Harriet Nuamah Agyemang, Senior Programme officer, SEND GHANA (0244982439)

Gladys Damalin, IAI programme Coordinator, HFFG (0244573219)

Bright Amissah-Nyarko, Chairman, GCNH (02011565

The Help for Helpers+ psychosocial support for frontline health workers and persons with mental disabilities is a one year project being implemented by HFFG and the PsykForum with funding from The Ghana Somubi Dwumadie.

The goal of the project is to provide psychosocial support to health workers and people with lived experiences of disabilities in the Greater Accra and Western Regions during the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana. In the Greater Accra Region, the project is run in four (4) districts namely: La Dade Kotopon, Korle Klottey, Ayawaso West and Ga East Municipalities. Ellembelle and Secondi Takoradi make up the districts in the Western Region.

Project Outcomes:

  • Reduced COVID-19 related work stress among health workers
  • Increased access to health care among people with disabilities, including people with mental health conditions
  • Reduced stigma and discrimination at the health facilities among people with COVID-19

By the end of the project’s first quarter (October – January) , 139 frontline health workers were provided with psychoeducation. Psychoeducation is a systematic, and structured didactic knowledge transfer on mental health/illness and how to cope and thrive in spite of the condition. For this particular exercise there was psychoeducation on the different dynamics of covid-19 such as the economic, social, political and mental health implications and how to cope.

It further educated participants on mental health through the life-span and the potential challenges that can develop if one’s mental health is not taken seriously. For frontline workers it is particularly important since some have suffered social stigma, extreme stress and personal grief during covid-19 especially as a result of providing covid-19 related service and or contracting COVID in the process of providing service.

Considering the overall importance of the intervention, the Head of the Ghana Ambulance Service signed a total of 87 emergency medical technicians, paramedics to be provided with Psycho education. Similarly, 52 health workers were also trained at the Police Hospital for the same reason.

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.

The Executive Director of HFFG and Board Member of the Global Fund, Mrs. Cecilia Senoo (1st from left) present at the launching ceremony.

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.  

  1.  An 85% reduction of HIV incidence; 90-90-90; and zero discrimination for marginalized groups to access care, support and treatment.
  2. A 35% reduction in TB deaths; 25% reduction in TB incidence; and 90% MDR-TB treatment success rate.
  3. A 90% reduction in Malaria mortality; 50% reduction in incidence; and malaria pre-elimination in 7 districts.
  4. Expand and consolidate critical health systems for supply chain, data management, and resilient communities.

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.” 

National and international stakeholders, partners and CSOs in the Global Fund grant implementation at the launching ceremony.

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.

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.

During a group discussion session on SRH among the adolescents.

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:

  • Engagement with Regional, Municipal and Community stakeholders on HIV prevention among adolescents
  • Orientation for School Health Education Programme (SHEP)/Girl Child Coordinators in 10 schools across Berekum and Sunyani East municipalities.
  • Youth lead Radio discussion on HIV prevention and adolescent sexual and reproductive health issues. 
  • Training of in-school adolescents on the HIV Alert Model in ten (10) schools, five per District
  • Community sensitization of parents and opinion leaders on HIV prevention and SRH for young people. 
  • Bi-monthly review meetings for adolescents’ peer educators

Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), has asked Ghanaians to use this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) to highlight and celebrate the contributions of women in the national COVID-19 response.

International Women’s Day is globally marked on March 8th every year to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day is also used as a call to action to accelerate gender parity across all levels. The theme for International Women’s Day 2021 is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”.

In line with this theme, HFFG in a press statement is advocating that the day should be used to applaud the efforts of many women, both young and old, who have dedicated themselves as frontline health workers and care-givers in the fight against COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the already existing gender inequalities with substantial implications for women.

“Several briefing notes by the United Nations have bemoaned the socio-economic and health impact of COVID-19 on women. However, the pandemic has also shown the resilience and strength of the Ghanaian woman, be it providing care at various health facilities, participating in risk communication in communities, participating in high level decision-making on resources for health and keeping homes together as wives and mothers,” the statement said.

“The theme is perfect looking at the critical role women are playing in our communities. Women make up a majority of front-line workers. In our health facilities, they are administering vaccines and medications. So if there is any better time for women to be appreciated, it is surely now,” the Executive Director of HFFG, Mrs Cecilia Senoo, stressed.

HFFG has also called on state institutions, civil society, traditional leaders and faith-based organizations to continue to push for the active involvement of women in national development and an end to all forms of violence against women and girls.

“Pandemics such as COVID-19 compound prevailing gender inequalities and vulnerabilities, increasing risks of abuse. We equally join the United Nations and other international and national stakeholders to call for safety and dignity for women in all spheres of life.”

The statement also urged the government of Ghana to put women and girls at the heart of the national COVID-19 recovery efforts since women are harder hit by the impact of COVID-19.

Experienced Ghanaian social worker and The Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), Mrs. Cecilia Lodonu-Senoo, an experienced Ghanaian social worker has been selected to become a member of the Developing Country NGO Delegation to the Global Fund Board (DCNGO) 2021-2023.

The Developing Country NGO Delegation is one of three civil society constituencies on the Global Fund Board and represents the perspectives of NGOs and NGO implementers in over 100 recipient countries.

The Global Fund is a partnership designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics. Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has disbursed more than US$45.4 billion in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria and for programs to strengthen systems for health across more than 155 countries, including Ghana.

The Developing Country NGO delegation aims to contribute to and influence Global Fund policies and practices in an effort to make them continually and appropriately responsive to the needs of people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and the NGOs and community based organizations (CBOs) providing services and support to address these diseases.

Mrs. Senoo’s selection was announced in a letter co-signed by Andriy Klepikov, Board Member and Alternate Board Member, Carolyn Gomes.

“On behalf of the Developing Country NGO Delegation to the Global Fund Board (DCNGO), we are pleased to invite you to become a member of the delegation for 2021- 2023, following your excellent application and thoughtful interview,” the letter partly read.

Commenting on the selection, Mrs. Senoo said, she is elated to be invited to join the Board. “It is a call to service to our communities, constituencies and countries to ensure better health outcomes for all. This position  will offer me the opportunity to contribute to Global Fund policies and advocate for support to CSO networks, youth networks, to actively participate in Global Fund grant implementation. It is time to work together to achieve the Global targets for HIV, TB and malaria.”, Mrs Senoo added.

Mrs Cecilia Senoo is the first woman to chair the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) of the Global Fund in Ghana. In this capacity, Mrs Senoo led the HIV, Malaria and TB response in Ghana with the support of the CCM Secretariat.

Mrs. Cecilia Senoo is skilled in national and international advocacy, gender programming and has over 25 years expertise in NGO management, Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) strategies and interventions, psychosocial counselling and HIV and AIDS programming.

The Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations is also a Board Member of the Ghana Population Council and a founding member of the Non-State Actors on Health and Development in Ghana.

She is a Technical Advisor to the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa (SWAA Ghana), an organization that has given hope to hundreds of Persons Living with HIV in Ghana.

As a key component of Primary Health Care, the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) initiative was instituted in Ghana over two decades ago to strengthen health care delivery at the community level by establishing CHPS compounds as the first point of contact and entry point to the health system.

It provides a vehicle for delivery of primary health care services at the community level as community members engage in decision making concerning their own health (GHS 2016). This is in line with global objectives of universal health coverage that all people have access to quality health care when and where they need it without financial challenges.

The success of CHPS depends on active participation of communities in the process of planning, designing and implementing health service delivery at the community level.

To achieve this, Community Health Management Committees (CHMCs) often comprising traditional leaders, opinion leaders and respected people in the communities, are formed to provide community level guidance and mobilization for the planning and delivery of health activities, including facilitating the work of Community Health Volunteers and to see to the welfare of Community Health Officers.

However, in most CHPS zones or communities, the CHMCs are either not in existence or are not functioning effectively. 

The community’s role in CHPS has historically been weak as a result of the community members insufficiently understanding their roles (MoH, 2014).

Addressing the Problem

With funding from Population Action International (PAI), HFFG is implementing a 5-months project that aims to revamp and reconstitute CHMCs and build the capacities of eight CHMCs within the Ada and Prampram districts of Ghana by May 2021.

Trained CHMCs will be guided to develop action plans to address health issues affecting their communities. Five organized groups will also be engaged to foster inclusion, non-discrimination and access to essential health services by May 2021.

Expected Outcomes

At the end of the project, HFFG and its development partner, PAI, expects:

  • Active and functional Community Health Management Committees (CHMC) playing their complementary roles to ensure successful CHPS implementation at the community level
  • Active and functional Community Health Management Committees (CHMC) mobilizing resources to ensure successful CHPS implementation
  • An increase in awareness and knowledge of primary health care, leading to an improved utilization of essential health services.