Tamale, Ghana – A sensitization workshop on the legal framework on epidemic preparedness and response (EPR) financing has been held with a call on assemblies to prepare EPR plans to help fight epidemics within their jurisdictions.
The workshop held that the EPR plans were crucial in detailing how much funds would be required to fight epidemics, and how such funds could be raised to ensure that the assemblies would be in a position to fight epidemics.
The day’s workshop, held in Tamale, was organized by SEND GHANA, a civil society organization, as part of activities under the project dubbed: “Advocacy for Epidemic Preparedness Financing”, which is funded by the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI).
The workshop, attended by selected partners from the Northern Region including representatives of assemblies, Ghana Health Service and citizen groups, sought to equip them with information on the legal provisions, which gave them the basis to make the right demands for EPR financing at both national and district levels.
The Advocacy for Epidemic Preparedness Financing project seeks to contribute towards epidemic preparedness in the country by holding the government accountable for the commitment it made to prioritize and increase budgetary allocation and disbursement to EPR activities by strengthening health infrastructure, equipment, and human resources.
Mr Mumuni Mohammed, Northern Regional Programme Manager of SEND-GHANA, speaking during the workshop, said the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the response to the pandemic and its impact on society should be enough grounds for the country to establish a fund in preparedness for future epidemics.
Mr Mohammed told the assemblies that “it is not enough to have EPR plans but such plans should be backed with reliable and adequate funds” to strengthen their preparedness towards effective response to epidemics.
Mr Stephen Atasige, Country Coordinator of GHAI emphasized the need for participants to contribute to efforts to advance the advocacy towards achieving financing for quick response to epidemics.
Mr Iddrisu Mohammed Kamil, Senior Development Planning Officer, Yendi Municipal Assembly said currently, Yendi Municipal Assembly did not have an EPR plan in place, which was not the best in terms of readiness to fight epidemics.
He, therefore, lauded the workshop saying the Assembly, as part of the 2022 – 2025 Medium Term Development Framework, would draw on the emergency preparedness response section, to incorporate the EPR plan, which would be prepared in collaboration with the Municipal Health Directorate amongst other stakeholders.
Madam Elizabeth Tindan, Tamale Metropolitan Public Health Nurse said she would mobilize members of the District Health Management Team to work together to plan well for effective response to epidemics.