Representatives from the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG) and the National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP) of the Ghana Health Services working on the Global Fund Programme paid a Courtesy Call to the Director General of Prisons – Mrs. Matilda Baffour-Awuah – on Thursday, 21st May, 2015 at the Ghana Prisons Head Quarters.
The purpose of the Courtesy Call visit was for the representatives to formally introduce themselves and to also update the Director General of the next phase of the Global Fund Programme which is – the Global Fund Programme – New Funding Model (NFM) – which will be implemented from 1st July, 2015 to 31st December, 2017.
Under this New Funding Model, the programme will extend its interventions to all the 43 prison establishments in the country. In addition, a TB component will be integrated into all the HIV and AIDS activities being undertaken by PPAG in the prisons hence the Association’s collaboration with the National Tuberculosis Control Programme of the Ghana Health Service. PPAG has been collaborating with the Ghana Prisons Service in the prevention of HIV/AIDS and STIs while addressing high-risk behaviours amongst prison inmates with funding from The Global Fund since the year 2010. Prior to this new phase, PPAG worked in 35 prisons out of the 43 prison establishments in the country.
Mr. Albert Wuddah-Martey, the then Acting Executive Director of PPAG in his remarks, commended the Ghana Prisons Service for their maximum support and collaboration with the Association in reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDs and STIs amongst prison inmates since the inception of the programme. He further stated that PPAG was looking forward to continued partnership with the service in effectively preventing and fighting HIV/AIDS/STIs & TB amongst inmates thus improving their well-being. In addition, the Deputy Manager of NTP – Dr. Nii Nortey Hanson-Nortey – emphasized the importance of the integration and joint programming of TB, HIV and AIDS in effectively preventing and fighting the two diseases amongst prison inmates hence the National Tuberculosis Control Programme partnership with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana.
The Director General of Prisons, in her response thanked the organizations for their health interventions in the Ghana Prisons. She however bemoaned the fact of the high prevalence rate of TB which was due to the deplorable conditions of the prisons which affected both the prison inmates as well as the prison officers. She therefore made an appeal that “…prison health should be the concern of every individual because the prisoners will certainly return to the larger community after serving their sentences”. She concluded by thanking both organizations for their immense support towards improving the health needs of prison inmates.
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