Two-year project to fight NTDs in Bono Region launched

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Project To Fight Ntds In Bono Region
Project To Fight Ntds In Bono Region

Sustainable Mission Aid (SMAid) International, a Christian Health, Relief and Development non-governmental organization (NGO) has launched a two-year project against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) being implemented in three selected municipalities and two districts in the Bono Region.

The areas are Sunyani West, Dormaa Central and Wenchi Municipalities as well as Dormaa West and Tain Districts.
The project being funded by Anesvad Foundation is dubbed “Ending Skin Neglected Tropical Diseases through Improved Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Interventions and Economic Empowerment”.

It was attended by stakeholders of diverse backgrounds including representatives of the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) as well as traditional leaders, some project associates within and outside the region and the public.

Speaking at the launch held in Sunyani, Mr. Peter Bangninuo Kuugyire, Project Focal Person for the NGO explained that its implementation would help improve access to water and sanitation services particularly in those selected areas.
He said the Project would establish improved WASH interventions and sensitize the public on safe water, clean environment and good sanitation practices.

Mr. Kuugyire added it would also provide alternative livelihood opportunities for people affected by skin NTDs and therefore called for support from the public to help achieve desirable results.

“The project will support and strengthen persons affected by NTDs to access micro-credit loans and financial services through Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLA) for economic empowerment” he cited.

“The project is targeting to end Buruli Ulcer, Lymphatic Filariasis, Yaws and Leprosy in the project operational areas”, Mr. Kuugyire said, adding that its implementation would promote integration and collaboration between GHS and other government agencies, selected civil society organisations (CSOs), networks and coalitions.

He explained it would actively involve local communities to facilitate integrated planning, management and monitoring of relevant health systems to promote effective health service delivery for people affected by NTDs.

Other objectives of the project, Mr. Kuugyire said would be supporting the creation of multi-sectoral mechanisms across sectors, ministries, departments and agencies for national ownership and accountability in fighting the NTDs.

He said trainings and capacity building programmes on advocacy would also be organised for CSOs and the media to help scale up advocacy on NTDs, WASH interventions and mental health campaigns in the project operational areas.

Mr. Kuugyire said the project would engage and empower frontline health workers, community health volunteers and community people to identify and report suspected cases of NTDs in the local communities.

As part of the project some capital projects such as boreholes and hand-dug wells would be provided to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation in the beneficiary areas, he added.

Earlier in a keynote address, Mr. Victor Nantari, the programmes coordinator for SMAid International said the project generally aimed at eradicating skin NTDs which mostly affected the marginalised and impoverished in society.

In that regard, Mr. Nantari stated the project was designed to roll-out activities to carefully tackle the challenge of NTDs in the region to reduce the burden on both affected persons and the health system.

He appealed to stakeholders on the project for the effective collaboration to ensure its objectives and goals would be achieved.

Dr. Kofi Amo-kodieh, the Bono Regional Director of the GHS pledged the support of the Directorate for the successful implementation of the project and assured the Health Management Teams of the selected Municipalities and Districts would collaborate to achieve the desired goals and objectives.

He called for a subsequent scale up of the project for the benefit of other municipalities and districts in the region.

SMAid International, a Sunyani-based NGO partners vulnerable communities to improve the lives of individuals, children and families by identifying and helping them to overcome obstacles and challenges that prevent them from living life in its fullness.

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