As President Obama makes clear, Ebola is a top national security priority. “And so it is very important for us to make sure that we are treating this the same way that we would treat any other significant national security threat. And that's why we've got an all-hands-on-deck approach -- from DOD to public health to our development assistance, our science teams -- everybody is putting in time and effort to make sure that we are addressing this as aggressively as possible.”
In line with this directive, USAID is in the process of re-programming an estimated $1.7 million to support the Government of Ghana with Ebola Preparedness and Response Planning.This funding will be provided in coordination with other Development Partners, but will largely focus on:
• Training of health personnel in Infection Prevention and Control at national and regional levels;
• Development of job aids for health staff;
• Revision and reproduction of standard operating procedures for various aspects of the Ebola response;
• Support to undertaking simulation exercises at health facilities in targeted regions to test skills and level of preparedness;
• Procurement of supplies for Infection Control and Prevention at health facility level including gloves, chlorine, soap, hand sanitizers, aquatabs, etc.
• Support for the development of Ebola Prevention materials in coordination with the Ministry of Health to be distributed through the Ghana Education Service's School Health and Education Program
In addition USAID and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were pleased to facilitate a workshop "Strengthening Detection and Response Capacity to Significant Public Health Events, including Ebola,” from October 7 – 9.
National, regional, district and facility level representatives from all over Ghana, representatives from The Gambia, several USG specialists and a delegation from Nigeria participated in this workshop. The delegation of experts from Nigeria was specifically brought in to share their recent successful experience in containing Ebola.
The CDC and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency continue to provide additional personnel and technical assistance here in Ghana and in support of ongoing efforts in the region.
The US government remains committed to supporting Ghana's preparedness plan and commends Ghana for their proactive leadership and partnership in the fight against Ebola.