UNFPA Programme in Ghana
UNFPA Ghana contributes to the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2012-2016, signed between Government of Ghana and the United Nations System in April 2011. The UNDAF presents the coherent vision and collective programme results the UN system seeks to achieve in support of key priorities of the Government’s development agenda.
The current UNFPA Ghana Country programme – CP6 (2012-2017) is aligned with the priorities of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda I & II, 2010-2013 & 2014-2017, supports the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, the ICPD Programme of Action and responds to the new UNFPA strategic plan and results framework (2014-2017).
UNFPA Ghana seeks to achieve these outcomes through a concerted set of strategies which are primarily advocacy, policy dialogue/advice, and capacity development, such as supporting governments to develop guidelines, protocols, standards, and quality of care mechanisms. All of this work is in the broader context of strengthening national health systems with a view to achieving universal health coverage, and is undertaken jointly with a range of national and international partners. The fund is also directly involved in service delivery, such as enhancing the health system to deliver quality of sexual and reproductive health care and services and the procurement of Reproductive Health commodities, including contraceptives. A key focus is also on the preparedness of the country to deliver SRH services in crises and building capacity to provide the Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for reproductive health.
UNFPA Ghana, with its main office in Accra and a decentralized office in the North (Tamale), works with the government of Ghana, civil society organizations, young people including adolescents and the media at the national, regional and district levels with focus on Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Upper East, Upper West, Northern and two consolidation regions (Central and Volta). The UNFPA Country Office in Ghana receives technical and operational support from the West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) based in Senegal, as well as units at UNFPA headquarters for programme implementation.
Ongoing Programmes of Support
The current UNFPA Country Programme – CP6 (2012-2017) has directly supported national frameworks and institutions and contributed to strengthening national, regional and district level development. The programme’s decentralization strategy moved both services and resources closer to the intended beneficiaries and has great potential for sustainability. UNFPA has played a lead role in policy guidance on maternal health in the country through its support to Ghana’s MDG5 Acceleration Framework and Action Plan. The President of Ghana now holds the regions of the country accountable for maternal health. Relatedly, UNFPA has since 2015 been the single largest source of public sector-supplied contraceptive commodities in Ghana procuring family planning commodities valued at over $3m yearly.
UNFPA commissioned the first national obstetric fistula centre and is well recognized for its lead role in the obstetric fistula national programme. In 2015, it supported Ghana Health Service (GHS) to conduct and publish results from research which for the first time provided empirical evidence on the burden of obstetric fistula in Ghana. Indeed, UNFPA support has built national capacity for prevention, treatment, and social re-integration for obstetric fistula clients. There has been capacity building for nurses and midwives beyond the set target. The lifesaving skills courses supported under the programme have improved obstetrics services and there has been a reported reduction in maternal deaths in all the 7 UNFPA focal regions. Training for community health nurses has provided skills for addressing maternal health and has been particularly important in areas that lack midwives and other clinical personnel.
The programme supported the establishment of GHS/ADHD (Adolescent Health and Development) Technical Committee to streamline adolescent health programmes in the country. It provided support towards the development of the Ghana Youth Situational Analysis and the mapping of all youth networks in five regions to enable the country have a clear picture of youth activities in the country to inform programming. Support has also been provided for the development of ASRH resource book for teachers to serve as reference book. The programme support given for peer education, HIV and STI prevention and contraceptive services, as well as capacity building in the form of training and equipment for Ghana Health Service to establish adolescent/youth friendly corners have increased the access of adolescents/youth to SRH information and services.
UNFPA’s technical and financial support to advance the work of the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection has strengthened the ministry to fulfil its mandate including the enactment of a new National Gender Policy launched in December 2015. With UNFPA support, Ghana Police Service through its Domestic Violence Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU) has helped to squarely place on the public discourse and policy agenda the issue of sexual and gender-based violence prevention and impact mitigation.
In addition, UNFPA continues to actively work with relevant agencies of Government to strengthen population and development data generation, analysis and use for development planning, programme development, policy monitoring and evaluation. For example, with technical and financial assistance from UNFPA, a series of thematic reports have been produced from the 2010 Population and Housing Census for maternal health, population ageing, and gender related policy and advocacy. UNFPA also contributed to the conduct and dissemination of results from the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey and is supporting early preparations for the 2020 Census.