“I am very satisfied when I see women and children with improved health…the work does not end here. We shall continue to combine the idealism of the Americans and the talents of the Ghanaians to improve health and well being.” Those were the words of the United States of America’s Ambassador to Ghana, Mr. Gene A. Cretz, during a Joint Project Dissemination Meeting in Accra on Wednesday, February 19th.
The meeting was mainly for experience sharing for three projects which were funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). All three projects had a life span of four years. These projects were the Ghana Behavior Change Support, which is being managed by the John Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP), the Ghana Focus Region Health Project being implemented by the JSI Research and Training Incorporation, and the Ghana Water, Hygiene and Sanitation Project (GWASH), being implemented by Relief International, ADRA and Winrock International.
“I saw team work among the ministries to improve health; I saw them working together for a common goal. Improving the lives of one out of every three Ghanaian is remarkable.” The Missions Director for USAID Ghana, James Bever said, “We will remain steadfast in women and children issues. We promise lifelong support. USAID will continue to be good partners and we promise follow-on projects, especially in the Northern and Volta Regions. Our target is to improve the life of one out two Ghanaians. ” He concluded.
The USAID has been working in Ghana for the past 30 years. It carries out U.S. foreign policy by promoting broad-scale human progress at the same time it expands stable, free societies, creates markets and trade partners for the United States, and fosters good will abroad.
The chairman of the ceremony and Director General of the Ghana Health Service testified to the visible signs of the three projects, “There have been dramatic changes in the communities as a result of the USAID funded Projects.”
A representative of the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing, Suzzy Baidu asked for a lessons learned document from all the projects for her Ministry. “We need to know your experiences and some of the difficulties you encountered, and how you addressed those challenges, so that we can also learn from them.”
The Joint Project Dissemination was to officially end all three projects which were being funded by the USAID. Each project told its success story, outlined its achievements and challenges through a power point presentation. GWASH highlighted its successes under four major headings: Water, Sanitation, Behavior Change Communications and lastly, Success Stories and Learning Lessons. One of the videos developed for the GWASH presentation depicts students demonstrating their handwashing and hygiene knowledge:
The three projects had booths which exhibited photos and materials they used in conveying their messages. The GWASH Booth displayed photos from field experiences, videos that were made during the project on manual borehole drilling, proper ways of handwashing and success stories from beneficiaries of the facilities. There were replica models of a household latrine, an institutional latrine for a school with a changing room for girls and a small town pipe system on display at the booth.