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The United States Partners with Ghana to Strengthen Public Health Emergency Communication

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On November 19, 2020, the U.S. government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), together with the government of Ghana launched the National Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Risk Communication and Social Mobilization during Public Health Emergencies and a message guide during the annual International One Health Day event. One Health brings together government and donor partners across various sectors to focus on the interconnection between people, animals, plants, and their shared environment and to address the threat of zoonotic diseases, or diseases which are transmitted from animals to humans.

The deliverables announced at the event are the result of USAID’s partnership with the government of Ghana. The SOP outlines the coordination structures and reporting chain of command for public health emergencies from the national, regional, district, and sub-district levels. The message guide provides guidance for accurate and timely messaging and social and behavior change communication for Ghana’s six priority zoonotic diseases and other public health threats.

Since 2007, the U.S. government has supported Ghana to increase the capacity of Ghanaian institutions and partners to address high-risk behaviors associated with the six priority zoonotic diseases and other emerging threats, in accordance with the WHO’s International Health Regulations core capacity of risk communication. The partnership is coordinated by an intersectoral group from the government of Ghana, including Ghana Health Service, the Veterinary Services Directorate, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and Environmental Protection Agency.

The One Health Day event took place in Boadi, Ashanti Region and featured representatives from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, USAID implementing partner Breakthrough ACTION, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Strengthening Global Resilience through One Health: A 2020 Vision for a Sustainable Future.”

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