Ms Zohra Bolsara of the USAID Health Office has called on the Government of Ghana to incorporate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) programme priorities into routine government planning and budgetary to lay the foundation for sustained control and elimination of NTDs
She said to achieve that, there was the need for new and strengthened partnerships in education, finance, workforce, and beyond.
“It will also require a continued commitment of financial and human resources at all levels of the health system,” she added.
Ms Bolsara made the call during a political validation of Ghana’s Sustainability Plan for Neglected Tropical Diseases organised by the Ministry of Health and partners.
Dubbed; Ghana’s Sustainability Plan for Neglected Tropical Diseases, the plan sought to guide the country’s journey to control and, eventually eliminate NTDs.
The USAID Health Officer said the development of the plan followed a highly participatory process across a range of Government stakeholders and health experts.
“USAID is proud to have provided financial, technical, and material support to this process, resulting in a sustainability plan that is comprehensive, realistic, and measurable.”
The sustainability plan is expected to be a practical guide to support the Ghana Health Service and NTDP in maintaining the momentum towards NTD elimination and control efforts to support the programme and partners in both preventing the transmission of disease and increasing access to services by persons affected in the long term.
Alhaji Mahama Asei Seini, the Deputy Minister of Health, encouraged the Committee to embark on intensive research to strengthen sustainable evidence-based NTD programming for greater impact and broaden opportunities for domestic resource mobilisation.
“Lessons and best practices in other NTD endemic countries should be contextualised and replicated for NTDs in Ghana,” he added.
The purpose of the multi-sectoral coordination mechanism is to ensure ownership of the programmes as a basis for the implementation and funding of NTD initiatives in Ghana.
He said the Government was committed to country ownership and domestic funding of key interventions and programmes towards the control and elimination of NTDs.
“This fits into the larger national framework of President Nana Akufo-Addo’s ‘Ghana Beyond Aid’ agenda,” the Minister stated.
He said although the country had made significant strides toward the control and elimination of NTDs, there was still much to be done to achieve the World Health Organization’s elimination and control target by 2030.
He urged other ministries, agencies, and sectors to explore platforms through which NTDs Programmes could leverage for greater outcomes.