In Ghana PHRplus, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health's (MoH) National Surveillance Unit (NSU) and the Ghana Health Services (GHS), has provided support to improve the national infectious disease surveillance system. Through implementation of WHO/AFRO's Infectious Disease Surveillance and response (IDSR) strategy, Ghana aims to improve the availability of information to guide public health action concerning 23 priority diseases.
Initially, PHRplus has worked with the NSU and other partners (WHO/AFRO, CDC, UN Foundation) to support the development of the tools and methods necessary to implement Ghana's version of the IDSR strategy. The support has strengthened the analytic capacity within the NSU as well finalized and printed national guidelines for IDSR in Ghana. The guidelines represent the essential roadmap to the operation and function of IDSR.
With the finalization of the guidelines (the necessary norms and forms which guide health workers to implement the strategy) PHRplus support has shifted to assist the MoH and the Ghana Health Services (GHS) to introduce the new system to health workers and build the capacity of appropriate institutions to support its sustainable operation. PHRplus initial efforts focus support to the introduction and operation of IDSR in Ghana;s three northern most regions, Upper East, Upper West and Northern Region. PHRplus support to these regions falls in four categories:
- capacity building;
- continuous assessment and problem solving;
- sharing and
- strengthened supervision as key elements to the rollout.
Through collaboration in these three regions PHRplus and the NSU will develop the methods and tools to support IDSR rollout to the rest of Ghanas ten regions.