The CDC Ghana office opened in 2008 with a focus on the scale-up of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programming, and has established close working relationships with the Ghana AIDS Commission, Ghana Health Service (GHS), the policy making body and implementing body of the government of Ghana, as well as with other implementing partners.
Strengthening Laboratory Systems and Networks
CDC is working directly with Ghana’s Ministry of Health (MoH) to build capacity and strengthen lab systems necessary to support the scale-up of HIV services in the country. CDC’s support includes assistance with the development of a national laboratory strategic plan, laboratory policy and procedures, laboratory information systems and quality management system critical to the accreditation of public sector laboratories and long-term sustainability of programs.
Building Surveillance & Health Information Systems
CDC is supporting Ghana to establish in-country capacity and infrastructure to implement and evaluate HIV/AIDS-related surveillance systems and to support stakeholders to use the HIV/AIDS data for program planning and evaluation. CDC is also supporting the improvement of the national health information system to collect high-quality data essential for decision making. In 2015, CDC is supporting a formative assessment of people who inject drugs (PWID) in southern Ghana and a nationwide survey to assess biological and behavioral risk factors among men who have sex with (MSM). CDC and USAID are collaborating to implement a key population implementation science study to test interventions to improve linkages to HIV services and retention in HIV care and treatment services.
In partnership with the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) and the School of Public Health (SPH), CDC developed a curriculum and provided training to monitoring and evaluation (M&E) focal points of organizations providing HIV services to build their capacity in M&E. CDC is supporting the GAC through a cooperative agreement to maintain a national database of HIV/AIDS epidemiologic and program data collected at the community and facility levels.
Key Activities and Accomplishments
Laboratory and Blood Safety Capacity Building
Between 2011 and 2014, CDC supported WHO-AFRO Stepwise Accreditation activities in Ghana with the objective of strengthening laboratory services and systems in order to provide accurate, reliable, and quality test results. Seventeen top tier public laboratories were enrolled in the program. To date, ten of the laboratories have been assessed by external auditors from the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM). Four of the laboratories achieved a four- star rating (maximum is five stars). The Ghana laboratories represent almost half of the nine laboratories (in the 45 laboratories in 11 African countries assessed by ASLM) that achieved a rating of four or five stars.
In 2014, the National AIDS Control Program fully migrated collection of HIV program data to the national health information system. Aggregated data reported by health facilities include HIV patients who have been lost to follow-up and AIDS related deaths.