Partnership To Strengthen Covid-19 Response Launched

Representatives of various agencies with the signed MoU to kick start the project.

The Millennium Promise Alliance in partnership with the Network of Persons Living with HIV, (NAP+) and support from UNAIDS has launched a project to strengthen community engagement in the fight against Covid-19.

The Partnership to Accelerate Covid-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa project seeks to help increase testing efforts and reduce Covid-19 transmission through sensitizing selected communities in six districts of the Ashanti and Greater Accra regions.

It will also include social and behaviour change interventions to trigger and sustain the Covid-19 preventive behaviours, counter myths and misconception, reduce stigma and address vaccine hesitancy.

The beneficiary districts are Amansie South, Oforikrom, Municipal, and Sekyere Central districts in the Ashanti region and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Ashaiman Municipal and the La Medina Nkwantang Municipal in the Greater Accra Region.

Executive Director, Millennium Promise Alliance, Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko, speaking at the official launch said the project presents a unique opportunity for agencies, the government and communities to work towards reducing Covid-19 infections.

Explaining how the project will work, Chief Nsarko said 30 participants from the six districts are being trained after which they are expected to facilitate the development of Covid-19 action plans in their respective districts.

They will also be provided with materials to undertake social and behavioural change activities in their respective communities.

Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, (GHS), Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, said the project is a noble cause to complement the government’s efforts in the fight against the global pandemic.

“It is therefore commendable to know that MAP, NAP+ Ghana and YHAG with support from UNAIDS is embarking on this project to strengthen community engagement in the fight against Covid-19 among persons living with HIV and AIDS and other vulnerable groups in communities,” he said.

Dr Kuma-Aboagye further expressed the hope that the project would help in contributing to efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy and pandemic fatigue among vulnerable groups in communities.

Country Director, UNAIDS Ghana, Angela Trenton-Mbonde,  remarking said ending the Covid-19 pandemic was a collective responsibility that required all stakeholders to join in the fight.

She said bringing on board the HIV/AIDS ecosystem to reach more population was a step in the right direction adding that it will generate the needed evidence to help inform policies on Covid-19 response.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri