The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) in collaboration with nine companies, yesterday, launched two pandemic management projects designed to help build the health and economic resilience of the country.
The three-year initiatives, estimated to cost 13 million euros, are “Pandemic management in catchment communities in times of COVID-19 and beyond and “Comprehensive pandemic for employees, families and communities. “
The partners are Anglo Gold Ashanti (Iduapriem and Obuasi mines); Golden Exotics Limited; Blue Skies; Coca Cola Ghana; Appointed Time Printing (ATP); Golden Star; Asanko Gold Ghana and Kasapreko Company Limited.
Giving an overview of the projects, the Technical Advisor of develoPP Health, the funding programme at GIZ, Mary Bonsu, said the first project is expected to enrol 60,000 people onto the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and ensure 150,000 would receive medical care (including vaccinations).
She said nine district assemblies and the Chamber of Mines would be able to react better to pandemics through capacity development, introduction of standard procedures and technological advancement.
For the second project, she said about 8,000 employees would benefit from better working conditions through improvements in health and safety at the workplace; improvements in social protection and access to companies employee welfare programmes.
She said 700 people would be helped to increase their resistance against financial shocks during pandemics through the interventions such as opening savings accounts; taking up any other forms of insurance apart from health and participating in economic trainings.
The Team Leader of develoPP Health, Dr Holger Till, said the programme which had already started, was necessitated by lessons from the pandemic and the need to strengthen the country’s ability to withstand shocks from future pandemics especially in the area of health and economy.
He said the partnership with other companies was initiated because the GIZ believed in the power of teamwork through which the unique abilities of individuals are harnessed for collective good.
“We are working together to ensure a better health system. Beyond this COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot relax but prepare to manage it,” he said.
The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Francis Asiedu-Bekoe, said the advent of COVID-19 had had a devastating impact on the economy and health but had also created an opportunity to build resilience through government’s efforts and development partners like the GIZ.
He said despite the availability of vaccines to help Ghana to significantly contain the pandemic, vaccine hesitancy was becoming a challenge against achieving the needed population immunity.
“The threat of Conspiracy Theories using particularly social media is an issue that needs to be addressed”, he said and expressed the hope that through the two projects the vaccination drive would move faster.
On behalf of the partners, the Head of Sustainability at AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi, Emmanuel Baidoo and the Head of Communication at ATP, Sophia Kudjordji, declared their immense support towards the success of the two projects.
SOURCE: Nii Otu Dadeban Ankrah