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CDC in Ghana

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Ghana at a Glance

  • Population: 25,546,0001
  • Per capita income: $1,5302
  • Life expectancy at birth women/men: 65/63 yrs2
  • Infant mortality rate: 45/1000 live births
1Population Reference Bureau, 2012
2Population Reference Bureau, 2011

Map of GhanaThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has collaborated with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), and other agencies since 2009 through the US President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to support HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment. CDC also provides support to the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) through a resident malaria advisor, to influenza surveillance through a regional avian and pandemic influenza advisor, and to the Ghana Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (FELTP) with technical assistance.


Through PEPFAR, the CDC Ghana office supports country efforts to build robust health systems and capacities for an effective national HIV response, which supports a data-driven, evidence-based approach tailored to the local epidemic. This in turn boosts health impact and helps to ensure the most efficient use of resources.

CDC is working closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH), GAC, and GHS to build program monitoring and evaluation capacity at the community level, improve the capacity of the country’s National Blood Transfusion Service, develop and implement a national laboratory strategic plan, and deploy laboratory information management systems to achieve and maintain high quality laboratory networks and quality assurance systems. An additional priority focus is to improve Ghana’s HIV surveillance system and to broaden national health information systems to collect, store, and analyze high- quality data for informed decision-making for improved program performance and outcomes. A key accomplishment has been developing an educational curriculum to meet Ghana’s specific workforce development needs


Under the PMI, a resident advisor is assigned to Ghana by CDC as part of an interagency team with USAID to support the MOH/GHS in implementing malaria prevention and control interventions. These include providing long-lasting insecticide mosquito nets and indoor residual spraying, preventing malaria in pregnancy, improving diagnostics and case management, surveillance, and monitoring and evaluation of malaria-related activities. Specific examples of CDC technical support include providing guidance in monitoring of a new, longer- lasting insecticide, collaborating with the Kintampo Center for Diagnostic Excellence in Ghana, and supporting local institutions to create high quality malaria slide banks for training and quality assurance.

Neglected Tropical Diseases

CDC is working with the Ghana Health Service and the National Neglected Tropical Diseases Program to develop and implement a post-mass drug administration surveillance system for lymphatic filariasis, which will provide information on the best method for conducting post treatment surveillance for lymphatic filariasis in countries that have stopped mass drug administration to ensure that any new outbreak transmission is quickly detected.


Impact in Ghana

  • Sentinel surveillance sites for ILI were established and expanded in all ten regions of Ghana, including military sites
  • Commenced accreditation process for four major public health laboratories
  • Trained 125 Ghanaians in monitoring and evaluation
  • Completion of the first ever national level survey of Men who have Sex with Men
  • Trained four groups of FELTP residents

In collaboration with GHS, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR), and the US Naval Medical Research Unit 3 (NAMRU-3), CDC has been working since 2008 to enhance the surveillance and response capacity of Ghana and West Africa for early detection and response to a possible avian or other pandemic influenza outbreak. CDC Influenza Division (CDC-ID) assisted in building laboratory capacity for influenza detection and response and continues to provide training to health professionals in Ghana and the West Africa region. CDC-ID assigned a regional avian and pandemic influenza advisor to Ghana in 2008 and recently granted a five-year Research Cooperative Agreement to the NMIMR to support a population-based study of seasonal influenza and other respiratory illnesses at the surveillance site of Dodowa in the Dagme West District to estimate the incidence of acute respiratory tract infections and what percentage of infections were related to influenza.

Health Systems Strengthening

CDC headquarters staff supported developing the FELTP in 2003. Short courses were offered between 2003-2005 during which 66 health professionals were trained in disease surveillance and outbreak investigation. In October 2007 the FELTP program was adopted as a two-year Master of Philosophy degree program at the University of Ghana’s School of Public Health. Since its inception, here have been six cohorts with a total number of 46 residents. The seventh cohort of 11 residents is currently being admitted for the 2013/2014 academic year increasing the total to 57. Their investigation and research abstracts have added great value to enhancing the disease surveillance and epidemiology capacity in Ghana.

Top 10 Causes of Death

Source: GBD Compare , 2010
  1. Malaria 13%
  2. Lower Respiratory Infections 9%
  3. HIV 9%
  4. Stroke 8%
  5. Cancer 6%
  1. Ischemic Heart Disease 5%
  2. Sepsis 4%
  3. Protein-Energy Malnutrition 3%
  4. Road Injuries 3%
  5. Meningitis 3%


1 U.S. Assignees
2 Locally Employed

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  • Page last reviewed: February 25, 2014
  • Page last updated: February 25, 2014
  • Content source: Global Health
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