HFFG Leads Community Empowerment in Ghana to Help Eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases

As the world celebrates Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) day, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), makes a passionate call to action, to end NTDs.  It is time to unite and act together, to address the socio-cultural barriers and inequalities that militate against eradicating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the country. 

In Ghana, NTDs affect all 16 regions, with an estimated 32 million Ghanaians at risk of contracting one or more NTDs. People living with NTDs constantly face stigma and discrimination from society, as well as neglect by their own families and communities. They are often left in poor and vulnerable conditions, which increases the disease burden and widen their exclusion from society as they are unable to work. The condition makes some of them go through disfigurement and permanent disability

HFFG in the spirit of this year’s theme, “Unite. Act. Eliminate.” urges the spearheading of community empowerment initiatives to bring positive change. We recognize the urgency of addressing NTDs and are committed to playing a leading role in the fight against these diseases.

With support from Anesvad and partners including Rural Watch, HFFG is implementing a community empowerment and awareness creation project on NTDs in ten (10) selected districts, namely, Okere, Lower-Manya Krobo, Kwahu West, Asuogyaman, Denkyembour, Kwaebibirem, Achiase, Birim South, Birim North and Akyemansah, all in the Eastern region of Ghana aimed at tackling NTDs head on.  

The project has contributed significantly to active case search in communities by forty (40) trained community volunteers and ten (10) trained nurses. Over 100 self-care and wound dressing kits have been distributed to clients confirmed to have Elephantiasis and Buruli Ulcer to effectively manage their wounds. Additionally, 260 health workers and 80 teachers including SHEP Coordinators, 40 Environmental Health Officers and 20 Water and Sanitation Management Team members have been sensitized to  foster collaboration among key stakeholders for a joint action for awareness creation, advocacy at all levels and to enhance surveillance efforts for NTDs in the project implementing districts.

With support from the Eastern Regional Health Directorate, over 350 cases of Elephantiases, Buruli Ulcer, Leprosy, Scabies and Yaws were confirmed between October 2023 and January 2023 and are currently receiving treatment. Whiles 53 beneficiaries have been registered on National Health Insurance Scheme. 

Ahead of the global celebration, the Executive Director of HFFG, Mrs Cecilia Senoo said; 

“Neglected Tropical Diseases disproportionately affect the most vulnerable populations. It is our collective responsibility to break the cycle of neglect and empower communities to champion their health. HFFG is proud to lead the way in promoting unity and action towards the elimination of NTDs.”

We call on the general public to add their  voices to domestic resource mobilization for NTDs and support in advocating for early and proper health care-seeking behavior in our communities. NTDs are preventable and treatable. We all are susceptible to it, especially those who live in poor environments. However, access to basic health services can ensure the prevention and treatment of NTDs for everyone.