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Modify guidelines and intensify implementation plans to control the covid-19 Pandemic in Ghana

From: Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH)
To: National Taskforce for Covid-19, Accra.
Date: 29th May, 2020.
Subject: Modify guidelines and intensify implementation plans to control the covid-19 Pandemic in Ghana
The Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GCNH) continues to appreciate the effort made so far of the ongoing Ghana covid-19 response and containment measures being roll out.
In April this year, one of the GCNH surveys and press releases, we suggested to the Government of Ghana (GoG), that “There is a greater need for Ghana to establish a National Control Programme on Coronavirus (COVID-19); NCPC”. The time has come.
Also, from our usual surveys to support GoG to fight covid-19, we conducted another survey recently (24th-27th, May 2020), the feedback from civil societies, educationist, health workers, sociologist, other interest groups and lessons from global communities’ point to the need to review our guidelines and protocols.
Our data is suggesting the need to ensure EQUITY and ACCESS in the testing and support services. Parts of the country do not still have the basic logistics continuously. Equity in health is part of Ghana’s universal access to health coverage plan. We still see gaps in Ghana’s covid-19 response services.
There is a strong need for Metros/Municipals/District Assemblies to support the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to reach out to more people with refined messages and education. They (GHS)still need more logistics.
Please! National Taskforce for Covid-19, if you claim you are testing more and getting more cases, then test more and scale up voluntary testing in the 16 regions of Ghana.
It is also very important to respect both quantitative and qualitative data in this unpredictable times of covid-19.
Now on restrictions, we sample views of people (264 respondents) across the country and below are the results (%):
The results show that:
i. 79% of respondents are of the view that government should not lift all restrictions
ii. Social Distancing, Proper use of Mask, Hand washing + Soap and Hand sanitizing (79%) restrictions should be maintained and modified.
iii. Additionally, respondents in the survey says that, our borders should not yet be opened (86%) to the international communities, especially through Road and Sea. They however slightly agreed (52%) to “Ghana should open only the international airport with strict measures”.
The following issues should be taking seriously with the appropriate Ministries/Agencies:

  1. National taskforce for monitoring of COVID-19 interventions must be instituted to visit all regions. “Due to lack of national monitoring plans” Minister for Monitoring & Evaluation could be of assistance to this intervention.
  2. Specific protocols and guidelines should be issued to different institutions in Ghana (Educational, Religious, Communities/Social, Markets, Lorry Stations, Health workers, Media, CSOs, etc)
  3. MMDAs should amend their by-laws and enforce properly. The MMDAs need more funding for the job. We take this opportunity to appeal to the managers of the COVID 19 Trust Fund, to support the activities on the ground.
  4. Ministry of Food and Agriculture should integrate COVID-19 education into the 2020 farming season, especially GoG Flagship programmes.

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