By the close of July 2014, the Guinea worm eradication programme in Ghana is expecting the country to be declared free from the disease by the International Certification Team.
Ahead of the declaration, Ghana is doing everything possible to ensure that nothing derails the efforts being put in place by the government of Ghana, the Guinea worm eradication programme, community volunteers and other stakeholders, hence, the introduction of a cash reward.
The cash reward is expected to encourage people to report any guinea worm case or any hanging worm that looks like guinea worm to a health facility
or community health worker or a nurse.
To ensure that no case is hidden or left unnoticed, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Ebenezer Appiah-Denkyra, had increased the amount payable under the cash reward system from GH¢200 to GH¢300.
The Deputy Upper East Director Public Health, Dr Joseph Opare, announced this at Binduri at the launch of a ZOVFA-ISODEC-STAR-Ghana, a project meant to empower clients of health facilities to report bad practices and applaud good practices to a higher authority for action.
The amount payable to people who report possible Guinea worm cases was initially GH¢100 and was increased to GH¢200 in 2010 by President Mahama at the time he was the Vice President of Ghana.
For anyone to get this GH¢300, he/she must first see a worm
hanging on a living human flesh and report to a health facility or a community health nurse for documentation in a ‘rumour register’.
The health facility is expected to inform the District Disease Control Officer, who would then forward the report till it gets to the national level, with a completed case registration form.
In line with the International Certification Team’s assessment, a
sample of the reported case is sent to the Centre for Disease Control at Atlanta, USA, for diagnosis.
The reported case goes through those steps to clear doubts about Ghana’s status after it is declared a Guinea worm free country come July 2014.
One key indicator that Ghana would have to meet before the final
declaration is for Ghana to have at least one source of safe and
potable water in each of the over 40 villages which were Guinea worm endemic in 2009.
From: Ebo Bruce-Quansah, Binduri
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