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IOM Promotes Ebola Preparedness in Ghana

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Ghana - IOM Ghana has launched a project: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Preparedness, Risk Reduction and Response among Migrants, Mobile Population and Border Communities in Ghana with US$400,000 funding from the Government of Japan.

“Border control is key to preventing an outbreak of EVD in Ghana. We are confident that this project will strengthen Ghana’s preparedness for EVD and prevention of similar emergencies in the future, particularly in the most affected border areas,” said Japanese Ambassador to Ghana Kaoru Yoshimura.

Technical guidance and operational support will be provided to the Ghana Health Service and Ghana Immigration Service to strengthen EVD surveillance at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Tema and Takoradi seaports and the Elubo land border.

“The recent EVD outbreak has taught the world that human mobility is a key factor in the spread of the disease. Despite the encouraging developments in the region, EVD remains a public health concern for Ghana. This Government of Japan-supported project will play a critical role in continuing to support frontline officers and mobile populations, especially at the borders,” said IOM Ghana Chief of Mission Sylvia Lopez-Ekra.

The project will assist border officials to conduct EVD surveillance and protect themselves through provision of protective equipment and isolation tents. Trainings will be conducted on EVD-related screening and infection control procedures.

Border officials are the first point of contact for mobile populations. To prepare for future health crises, other sessions will therefore focus on migration and the right to health, health-related border policies and procedures, and health-related vulnerabilities in the migration process. Health Declaration Forms will also be distributed and administered at border points.

To achieve the goals of EVD prevention and control, IOM will engage community leaders and volunteers and train them on EVD causes, symptoms and modes of prevention. Additionally, information outreach activities will be conducted to support community leaders in awareness-raising efforts.

“Our vision is to build stronger and more responsive border and community health surveillance systems that protect the people of Ghana beyond EVD, including from cholera and other communicable diseases,” said Ms. Lopez-Ekra.

For further information, please contact Dr Aden Guliye at IOM Ghana, Tel. + 233(0) 26 871 4 872, Email: gaden@iom.int

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