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Emergency COVID-19 Support for Ghana

BACKGROUND TO THE PROJECT

The novel coronavirus is also continuing to spread in NRW’s partner country of Ghana, hitting poor sections of the population in major urban areas such as Accra particularly hard. Most people here live in very cramped conditions in informal settlements such as Old Fadama near the city’s dumping ground. They share their tiny homes made from makeshift materials with several others and usually lack access to clean water and sanitation. Obeying the hygiene rules such as social distancing and regular handwashing is virtually impossible under these conditions. Overall, therefore, there is the risk of the new coronavirus spreading faster in these informal settlements.

The problem is exacerbated by the weakness of Ghana’s health care system. It is inadequately equipped and could thus be overwhelmed if infection numbers were to rise. The hospital that was built in 2019 for those living around the dumping ground as part of a previous project also lacks the medical equipment and PPE required to carry out any initial treatment of people infected with the virus, and to protect staff so that they can deliver awareness-raising campaigns on dealing with the virus.

Various measures are therefore planned to give poor sections of the population living in informal settlements near the Old Fadama dumping ground better protection against infection with the virus.

PROJECT OBJECTIVE

The project will help to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the informal settlements near the Old Fadama dumping ground in Accra, and reduce the associated negative impacts.

It will therefore help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3, namely to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

PROJECT ACTIVITIES

Building basic sanitation infrastructure on the dumping ground
Sanitary facilities including toilets and washing facilities will be built to improve water supply and sanitation on the dumping ground. This will give the people who live and work there permanent access to clean, affordable water and sanitary facilities. This will protect them against infection with the novel coronavirus and other diseases caused by contaminated water, and improve hygiene conditions on the ground.

Improving hand hygiene
As the sanitary facilities will take some time to build, supplementary measures for improving hygiene are also in the pipeline. This will involve setting up simple sanitary facilities known as ‘Veronica Buckets’ and giving the people living and working on the dumping ground hygiene products including soap, disinfectants and regular supplies of clean water. Invented in Ghana, the Veronica Bucket is made up of a large bucket with a tap inserted at the bottom and a bowl to collect dirty water. This bucket structure is suspended in a metal frame that also has hooks for bottles of soap and hand towels. The Veronica Bucket is a simple way to enable people to wash their hands regularly in running water, an essential step during the coronavirus crisis.

Readying the hospital for the fight against COVID-19
PPE such as face masks, visors, goggles, gloves, gowns and disinfectant will be handed out to staff at the hospital on the Old Fadama dumping ground so that they are better equipped. More hospital workers will be hired if required and more materials and equipment will be purchased so that people infected with the coronavirus can receive initial treatment. These measures will enable the hospital and its staff to raise awareness of the novel coronavirus and of potential preventive measures amongst those who live and work at the dumping ground. It will also allow them to treat people infected with the virus.

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Brief project description

Title: Emergency COVID-19 Support for Ghana
Term: May 2020 – December 2020
Region: Ghana, Accra
Sector: Health

Supported by: State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia

Partners and actors

  • Ghana Health Service
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