The project is being piloted in only three districts of the country namely, Gomoa West in the Central Region, Keta in the Volta Region and Bongo in the Upper East Region, and its expected to end in 2014.
In a speech, the Gomoa West District Director of Health Services, Dr Yaw Ofori Yeboah said human activities over the years had contributed to changes in global and regional climate conditions resulting in extreme weather events such as flooding and draught.
Dr Yeboah said climate change poses a significant threat to public health, saying, apart from floods displacing people, it is also a source of breeding grounds for mosquitoes and diarrhoea related diseases through the contamination of water sources.
He said erratic rainfall patterns would have negative consequences on rain fed agriculture, culminating in draught and famine, leading to malnutrition.
The project, “Integrating Climate Change into Management of Priority Health Risk in Ghana” is a collaboration between the UNDP, the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service.
Dr Yeboah said the project was aimed at strengthening the districts health systems to mitigate the health effect of climate change and adequately respond to the resulting health challenges with emphasis on malaria and diarrheal.
He said improvement in our healthcare system and emergency preparedness could help to reduce the health effects of climate change.
Mr Isaac Adams, Director of Research, Statistics and Information Management at the headquarters of the Ministry of Health urged the pilot districts to become learning centres where others could come and learn about the project.
Dr Opoku Fofie, who represented the Regional Director of Health Services, assured that the Regional Health Directorate would give full support to the Gomoa District in the implementation of the project.
The Gomoa West District Chief Executive, Mr Theophilus Aidoo-Mensah commended the UNDP for providing funds for the project.
He assured that the District Assembly would sustain the project after it ends and appealed to the people of the district to plant more trees.