CDC in Ghana

CDC Works in Ghana

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has worked with Ghana since 2008 to support HIV/AIDS prevention and control through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. CDC also works with Ghana to strengthen laboratory, surveillance, and workforce capacity to respond to disease outbreaks in support of the Global Health Security Agenda; implement interventions for malaria under the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative; and build surveillance and laboratory capacity for influenza.

Ghana CDC Map

What CDC is Doing in Ghana

HIV is a leading cause of death and a health threat to millions worldwide. As a key implementer of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), CDC works with Ghana to build a sustainable, high-impact national HIV response program to accelerate progress towards the UNAIDS global targets to control the HIV epidemic.

CDC’s work with Ghana began in 2008, focusing on HIV prevention and control within key populations. That focus has shifted to efforts to accelerate treatment for all HIV-positive persons. CDC is the lead agency for building PEPFAR laboratory capacity in Ghana, including improving laboratory skills and increasing the efficiency of laboratory services. CDC also leads PEPFAR- Ghana’s strategic information activities, including efforts to improve data collection and analysis across the HIV cascade (testing, initiation of treatment, and suppression of viral load).

CDC’s global health security efforts in Ghana help improve the country’s ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks before they become epidemics that could affect global populations. These efforts help Ghana reach the targets outlined in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a global partnership launched in 2014 to help make the world safer and more secure from infectious disease threats.

CDC, working closely with the Ministry of Health and other partners, provides expertise and assistance across the 11 global health security technical areas known as GHSA action packages. These action packages help Ghana build core public health capacities in disease surveillance, laboratory systems, workforce development, emergency management, and other critical areas. The Government of Ghana officially committed to GHSA in 2015, prioritizing work on eight of the 11 GHSA action packages. A key activity is the provision of testing kits to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research for the detection and identification of hemorrhagic fevers such as Lassa, dengue and yellow fever.

CDC supports Ghana in strengthening the capacity of its workforce to investigate and respond to disease outbreaks through the Field Epidemiology Laboratory and Training Program (FELTP). The program trains a workforce of field epidemiologists—or disease detectives—to identify and contain outbreaks before they become epidemics. Participants focus on “learning by doing” to develop the skills for gathering critical data and turning it into evidence-based action.

The Ghana FELTP recognizes that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment, enrolling physicians, laboratory scientists, veterinarians, and Food and Drug Authority officials as part of the program. Ghana has trained over 400 field staff across the country who have conducted more than 100 outbreak investigations, including on meningitis, cholera, yellow fever, influenza, measles, rubella, and anthrax.

Malaria is a leading cause of death and disease in many countries, and young children and pregnant women are the groups most affected. Under the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, CDC has assigned a resident advisor to the malaria-endemic country of Ghana to support the implementation of malaria prevention and control interventions. These interventions include providing long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying, preventing malaria in pregnancy, and improving diagnostics and case management.

Influenza viruses require continued vigilance to protect the United States and the world from seasonal influenza as well as novel strains that could trigger a pandemic. CDC works with Ghana to help build surveillance and laboratory capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to influenza threats.

Since 2012, CDC has collaborated with the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research on inpatient and outpatient respiratory disease surveillance in the greater Accra region. This surveillance platform is used to establish studies focused on influenza infection among HIV-infected adults and the impact of influenza infection on pregnancy outcomes. CDC also provides support to the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research to build capacity for neighboring West African countries through trainings, technical assistance visits, and procurement of emergency supplies.

CDC Impact in Ghana

Through laboratory capacity building efforts, increased rapid test proficiency testing from 27% to 85% in 2018.

In 2019, establishing a national laboratory sample referral transport system through collaboration with multilateral and bilateral donors.

Implemented an electronic HIV module for tracking and management of patients.

Trained 323 healthcare workers from 82 districts through the 12-week frontline Field Epidemiology Laboratory and Training Program.

CDC Staff in Ghana
  • 3 U.S. Assignees
  • 6 Locally Employed
Ghana at a Glance
  • Population: 28,833,629 (2017)
  • Per capita income: $4,490
  • Life expectancy at birth: F 64/M 62 years
  • Infant mortality rate: 37/1,000 live births

Sources: World Bank 2018, Ghana
Population Reference Bureau 2018, Ghana

Ghana Top 10 Causes of Death
  1. Malaria
  2. Lower respiratory infections
  3. Neonatal disorders
  4. lschemic heart disease
  5. Stroke
  6. HIV/AIDS
  7. Tuberculosis
  8. Diarrheal diseases
  9. Road injuries
  10. Diabetes

Source: GBD Compare 2018, Ghana

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Page last reviewed: August 12, 2019
Content source: Global Health