Why Send Ghana leading advocacy for establishment of public health emergency fund in Ghana

In recent years, Ghana has faced several health emergencies, including outbreaks of infectious diseases and natural disasters. However, the country still lacks a specific fund to manage these situations.

That is why Send Ghana and its network members including the Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG) have been leading the advocacy campaign for the establishment of a public health emergency fund in Ghana.

This public fund is expected to allocate money to emergency preparedness and response strategies that will enable Ghana to respond swiftly to health emergencies.

The fund is proposed to be generated from a percentage of the country’s GDP, which would be significant enough to support emergency response plans but not significant enough to burden the economy.

The establishment of the fund is essential because it would allow the government and stakeholders to prepare and respond to health emergencies more efficiently. Further, the establishment of the fund would minimize the burden on donors who typically fund emergency responses in the country.

In 2015, Ghana experienced an outbreak of Lassa fever, a deadly disease transmitted to humans through the urine and fecal matter of infected rodents.

The outbreak resulted in several fatalities, prompting Ghana to declare a health emergency. During the emergency, response efforts were hampered because there was no specific fund allocated for outbreak control.

The country relied on donor funding to control the outbreak and manage those infected.

Similarly, in 2020, Ghana experienced an outbreak of COVID-19, a highly infectious disease with no cure. The country struggled to manage the outbreak, which resulted in a partial lockdown of the country to control the spread. These two specific cases highlight the urgent need for Ghana to establish a public health emergency fund.

Send Ghana has been at the forefront of advocating for the establishment of the fund. The organization observed that the lack of preparedness and inadequate response during health emergencies was linked to inadequate funding. In their recommendations to the government, Send Ghana proposed that the fund should be established with a percentage of the country’s GDP.

The organization believes that 5-10% of the country’s GDP would be sufficient to establish the fund and allocate money to emergency preparedness and response. They are optimistic that this will ensure that appropriate measures are put in place to respond to health emergencies promptly.

In conclusion, the establishment of a public health emergency fund is crucial to effectively prepare for and respond to health emergencies in Ghana.

Send Ghana’s advocacy is commendable as it highlights long-term solutions to the country’s health challenges.

Ghanaian citizens must support and participate in any initiatives aimed at funding the health emergency fund to better secure the health and wellness of the country.

By Joseph Kobla Wemakor

The writer is an indefatigable human rights activist, National SDGs Champion and Founder/Executive Director of Human Rights Reporters Ghana (HRRG)

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