Ghana HIV and AIDS Network holds workshop for CSOs in health

Accra, July 24, GNA-The Ghana HIV and AIDS Network (GHANET) has held a five-day training workshop on leadership and political influence for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that operate in health.

It was sponsored by Dakar-based Civil Society Institute for HIV and Health in West and Central Africa (CSO-WCA) in collaboration with Enda Santé (also based in Dakar).

A statement issued in Accra and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), has said.

Mr Victor Attah Ntumi, the President of GHANET, said he was happy that the GHANET-CSO-W partnership, which started in 2020 was already yielding fruits.

He said the partnership was intended to build the capacity of GHANET and other CSO networks in Ghana to be able to advocate improvement in health service delivery, particularly regarding HIV and AIDS.

Mr Ntumi said CSO-WCA was providing leadership for CSO networks in West and Central Africa to engage better with the Global Fund and other international donors for Tuberculosis, AIDS and Malaria (GFTAM).

He said that was being done through the implementation of nine thematic areas, including Leadership and Political Influence, which had been put under the ambit of Enda Santé.

Reverend Dr. Jane Okrah, Community Support Adviser at UNAIDS, congratulated GHANET for extending a hand of friendship to other CSOs in the country to participate in the workshop instead of limiting the opportunity to only its membership.

She said it was gratifying to see GHANET made great efforts to revive CSO activities in the area of HIV and AIDS.

Dr Okrah emphasized that leadership was an important ingredient for advancement in the work of CSOs and urged all participants to take the training seriously.

Dr. Peter Yeboah, Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Ghana (CHAG), pledged their continued support to CSOs like GHANET.

He noted that, “Given the broad scope of the composition of CSOs, the Global Fund has anticipated broader involvement of all stakeholders who would question the status quo, demand change, mobilise action, and seek accountability from governments and non-government actors alike.

"To perform this task creditably, a training such as this, which is meant to train CSOs on political influence and leadership is fitting and demands all the support that is available," he stated.

Dr. Yeboah said “I am happy to announce that CHAG recognises the need to build the capacity of CSOs and, thus, has already initiated a capacity assessment of networks including GHANET.

"The aftermath of the capacity assessment will see to delivering tailor made solutions and interventions to equip CSOs to effectively deliver on their mandate,” he added.

Dr Yeboah described the workshop as timely as it would provide the requisite skills to CSOs to enable them effectively engage government, stressing, “CSOs are critical voices in advocating human rights, gender, inclusion of vulnerable populations and community systems strengthening, which are all key elements of the Global Fund Strategy 2017-2022.”

He thus, encouraged the participants to be good ambassadors of the training.
Participants at the workshop, include; the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Health (GNCH), Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Malaria (GNCM), Stop TB Partnership Ghana (STBPG), Network of Persons Living with HIV, (NAP ), Ghana TB Voice Network (GTBVN), Prolink Organization, and CEPHERG.

The rest are, Young Health Advocates Ghana (YHAG), Non-State Actors (NSA Ghana), West Africa AIDS Foundation (WAAF), Coalition of NGOs in Nutrition and Food Security (CONFESEC), Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC), People’s Health Movement, Ghana Healthy Life International, (GHLI), PORSH, Family Health Foundation (FHF), CHAG and GHANET.