Back to Homepage

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.

Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) has engaged the Health Select Committee in Parliament to push for an increase in domestic financing of immunization in Ghana after years of advocating on the subject.

HFFG is an implementing partner on the Immunization Advocacy Initiative (IAI), supported by the African Population Health Research Center (APHRC). During the engagement with the Health Committee of Parliament, the Programs Manager for IAI, Gladys Damalin while presenting a policy brief to the Health Committee revealed that the current budget allocation for immunization is below the minimum 15% allocation recommended by the Abuja Declaration. Thus, Ghana is unable to meet its co-funding obligations to the Global Alliance for Vaccines.

She further mentioned that GAVI, the major immunization financier in Ghana is set to pull out by 2027 and Ghana’s inability to prepare for that will cause a tragic dwindle in the progress made under immunization.

The Executive Director of HFFG, Cecilia Senoo entreated the Health Committee at Parliament to add their voices for a progressive change in the budget allocation for immunization. She added that this is important to avoid a future outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases among children. “It is important that government increases investment in the health sector particularly immunization to protect the lives of our children and to sustain the gains already made”, she said.

Adding her voice, the Programs Director of HFFG, Nancy Ansah, asserted that HFFG is calling for a concerted approach to put in place plans and resources to prevent the country from experiencing any shock after GAVI’s withdrawal from Ghana.

The Vice Chairperson of the Health Committee, Hon. Patrick Boakye-Yiadom in his response made a call for CSO’s to advocate for Ghanaians to build an attitude that promotes payment of tax and a general acceptance of policies and initiatives that call for domestic resource mobilization.

The Chairperson, Hon. Nana Ayew Afriyie, remarked that the withdrawal of donors is “frightening” thus, Ghana needs urgent preparations towards that. He continued by saying the committee will work hard to ensure an increase in the budget allocation to immunization in Ghana.

Compiled By:

Emmanuella Kwamee (HFFG)