To achieve the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan 2011-2015 (NSP), the School of Public Health of the University of Ghana, Legon is training regional and district Focal Persons on effective monitoring and evaluation in Accra.
The two-week training, which is the third in the series, is also targeting NGO field staff involved with the national response aimed at reducing new infections and achieving universal access for prevention, treatment, care and support services.
Speaking at the opening of the training course on Monday, Mr Kyereme Atuahene, Director in charge of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Ghana AIDS Commission said by the end of the implementation of the Plan, HIV prevalence should have been reduced from the current 1.5 per cent level to less than 1 per cent.
“Ghana’s ability to measure the results of the implantation of the NSP lies in the programme management and monitoring and evaluation capacity coupled with the ability to innovate actions based on evidence”, he added.
The training course is organized in collaboration with the Ghana AIDS Commission and Morehouse School of Medicine based in the United States of America for 50 HIV focal persons of institutions whose functions are closely linked to addressing HIV and AIDS and its related issues.
The training is aimed at enhancing the capacity of the trainees to set appropriate objectives and indicators, the of use appropriate tools to collect and interpret data that will be meaningful to inform national policy direction and the overall national response.
They will be taken through the problem of HIV and AIDS, the country’s response and strategic interventions, how to develop a work-plan and its implementation among other things. They will also embark on field visits to enhance their skills.
Mr Atuahene noted that the fight against the epidemic had received numerous interventions but despite all the interventions, there was very little orientation towards the monitoring and evaluation which he described as a cardinal index for ascertaining the effectiveness of the interventions.
He urged participants to make good use of the two-week training course, share ideas on their workplan and learn new skills that would help them to demonstrate a unique brand of the monitoring and evaluation competence wherever they would find themselves.
Dr Kofi Kondwani who represented the Morehouse School of Medicine reiterated the need for the collaboration and the provision of funds to ensure the smooth implementation of the strategic plan.
Professor Johnny Gyapong Vice – Dean of the School of Public Health, who chaired the function called for investment in monitoring and evaluation and said though it might be expensive, “it is still necessary that we invest in it to have good results”.