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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.

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.

Compiled By:

Effah Attah-Badu (HFFG)