March 27, 2013
Five Hundred (500) bicycles to boost the activity of community health volunteers was handed over to Guinea Worm Eradication Programme(GWEP), Ghana Health Service (GHS) on Wednesday, 27th March 2013 at Central Medical Store at Tamale in Northern Region by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This donation will assist GWEP’s effort to declare Guinea Worm free Ghana.
JICA assisted GWEP under Technical Cooperation for Guinea Worm Eradication Project in the area of strengthening surveillance and provision of safe water from 2004 to 2008. The current assistance JICA provides is the Follow-up of the previous Project to assist GWEP through provision of necessary equipment.
Ghana is in her second year of the three-year mandatory pre-certification surveillance for Guinea Worm disease. This period requires nationwide awareness creation and surveillance to provide evidence of the absence of the disease. In response to this requirement, GHS requested JICA to procure bicycles for the community based volunteers to enable them intensify their community based disease surveillance activities.
According to GHS, Bicycles have been found to be very vital in helping Community Based Volunteers to perform their disease surveillance activities effectively. It enables them to visit households regularly and also report diseases and vital health events quickly the nearest health center.
In the joint press release by GHS and JICA, Mr. Jiro Inamura, the Chief Representative of JICA Ghana Office hoped that the bicycles would be utilized to strengthen the surveillance in Guinea Worm priority districts to facilitate the Eradication of Guinea Worm disease by set targeted year, 2014.
Dr. Franklin Adiedu, the Programme Manager, GWEP thanked JICA for its continuous support and promised that GHS would be responsible for the utilization and maintenance of all the bicycles provided under the Follow-up Cooperation.