A Finland Organisation, FNV is assisting Public Service International affiliated unions in the West African Health Sector Unions’ Network (WAHSUN) to draw Strategic Action Plan (SAP) on Ebola disease in four African countries to curb the spread of the virus on the sub-region.
The SAP would ensure Health Sector Workers’ Union (HSWU) visibility on Ebola outbreak in the sub-region through capacity building, stakeholders’ workshop and legitimacy to make high level interventions.
Countries benefiting from the two year project are Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone and each country is supposed to draw the plan to meet its peculiar needs aimed at preventing the virus.
In Ghana, HSWU and Ghana National Registered Nurses Association (GNRNA), both members of the WAHSUN Unions, and affiliates of Public Service International (PSI), a Global Federation Trade Union are undertaking the project.
PSI linked up with the FNV to source for funding for its affiliates in West Africa that belong to WAHSUN to start campaigns and build alliances in 2016 to eliminate the virus.
The project aimed at assisting WAHSUN member countries and ECOWAS countries where PSI has affiliates to develop mechanisms to control and prevent the spread of Ebola Virus Disease among health workers and the citizenry.
HSWU and the GNRNA had commissioned a six-member committee under the chairmanship of Reverend Richard Yeboah, HSWU to brainstorm and agree on what should go into the Ghana SAP.
The rest of the members are Mr Joseph B.Y. Denteh, Coordinator of the project and WAHSUN Research Officer, Mrs Perpetual Ofori-Ampofo, General Secretary, GNRNA, Mr Kwaku Asare-Krobea, President of GNRNA, Mr Raynolds O. Tenkorang, Deputy General Secretary, HSWU, and Mr Abu D. Kuntulo, General Secretary, HSWU.
Mr Denteh, Coordinator of the Project, told the Ghana News Agency that the SAP would lead to sourcing for funds for the implementation of the plan.
He said there would be a national stakeholders’ workshop early this year as part of Ghana’s activity to create awareness and the way forward on the disease.
“As part of the project, we will also organize training of trainers’ workshops for the leadership of the two unions at both Regional and District levels to equip them to give the necessary training to both the public and the health facilities countrywide.
“There will also be training of trainers on prevention, isolation, precautionary, treatment, screening and guidelines for health workers at facility levels,” he said.
Mr Denteh said the committee has proposed the establishment of Ebola Isolation and Treatment Centres each in every Region by 2016 to prepare the country for any future eventualities.
Last year’s Ebola outbreak is the first of a kind that has gone beyond borders and has affected many countries at the same time, rural and urban, with large numbers of cases and deaths.
The hardest hit countries include Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Mali. Nigeria and Senegal also had their share and were able to contain the spread.
In August last year, the World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as a Public Health Emergency of International concern.
PSI represents over 20 million public service workers worldwide from over 150 countries.