Land Border Officers Trained on Public Health Emergency Response

Kim Bridger, ACI Edith Arhin, facilitators and participants in a group photograph

Port health officials and border officers from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) and other agencies have received training on public health emergency response.

The training workshop saw 32 beneficiaries drawn from the Western, North-Western, Eastern and North-Eastern borders undergo the exercise which is expected to augment Ghana’s capacity and operational guidance along its land borders.

The workshop funded by the British High Commission and led by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM-Ghana) was targeted at strengthening the capacity of Ghana in responding to public health emergencies such as Ebola and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Justice and Home Affairs Advisor of the British High Commission, Kim Bridger said the UK government has repurposed 48 million cedis of UK Aid funding to support Ghana’s response to Covid-19.

That support, she said, is wide-ranging, but includes funding of oxygen concentrators and drones to deliver Covid-19 tests and life-saving medical equipment.

“The objective of this course is to help you to promote a coordinated response to public health at the land borders. Our aim is to equip you with a clear understanding of standard operating procedures for how to screen for and refer suspected cases of coronavirus and other infectious diseases. This is essential to infection prevention and control, including your personal protection as officers on the front line,” she said.

Programme Manager for IOM-Ghana, Nnamdi Iwoura, said Points of Entry (PoEs) play an essential role played by ensuring a coordinated national and global response to COVID 19 and other public health emergencies.

He indicated that ‘POEs form a part of the front-line efforts to ensure infection prevention and control (IPC), disease surveillance, cross-border coordination and the protection of vulnerable persons in mobility. These training of trainers’ workshops address identified gaps by ensuring border officials have increased capacity and operational guidance to achieve a coordinated

The workshops will create a core of national trainers on Public Health Emergency Response and IPC across the country’ On behalf of IOM Ghana, he thanked the UK government for funding the training workshop.

Speaking on behalf of the Comptroller-General of Immigration, Edith Penelope Arhin – Assistant Commissioner of Immigration in charge of the Kotoka International Airport the training program will complement the efforts of the government and the Service.

“I am very optimistic that the training will result in clear improvements in knowledge of participants and will be applicable in an emergency setting, especially, at entry points where the Port Health Authorities are not stationed,” she added.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri