COUNTRY OVERVIEW AND PROJECT BACKGROUND
The population of Ghana is about 18.8 million with an estimated doubling time of 24 years. The Ghana 1998 DHS findings show a modern contraceptive prevalence rate of 25%. The current HIV prevalence of 3% is lower than many African countries, though multiple partners, high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and other co-factors predict the possibility of a rapidly spreading epidemic if prevention efforts are not sustained and intensified. While significant, incremental strides have also been made in improving child health, childhood morbidity and mortality from preventable and treatable diseases remain high, notably malaria. In part, the overall health situation may be attributed to a lack of access to accurate family planning, HIV/AIDS and child health information and services throughout the country, particularly in rural areas. Socio-cultural issues, including perceived lack of social support and gender norms, often discourage FP, safer sex, and health-seeking behaviors.
The Health Communication Partnership responded to the following USAID/Ghana Intermediate Results:
- IR 3.1: Increased use of reproductive health services
- IR 3.2: Increased use of selected child survival services
- IR 3.4: Increased knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention methods
To achieve these results, HCP worked closely with the Ministry of Information and Presidential Affairs, the Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service (MOH/GHS), Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), National Population Council (NPC), the Ghana Social Marketing Foundation (GSMF), the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, and many other local NGOs and community-based organizations to implement a three-pronged integrated health framework. Each of the program components was inter-related with the others.
HCP Ghana saw major accomplishments across all programmatic areas:
- The community mobilization and participatory approaches led to measurable improvements in service delivery and utilization at the community level.
- The national broadcast of 10 family planning radio spots and five TV spots addressing choice of methods at all stages of the reproductive life cycles led to an increase in Norplant and oral contraceptive use.
- The national broadcast of HIV and AIDS testimonial, informational, traditional and religious leader spots led to a dramatic increase in condom sales.
- Award-winning songs, and radio and television dramas (such as He Ha Ho and Things We Do for Love) produced by HCP became a part of Ghana's pop culture.
- The US Ambassador and USAID Director helped HCP to successfully launch the Sara intervention in April 2003.
- HCP Ghana built local communication capacity with numerous training workshops and by providing quality technical assistance and materials to its local government and non-government partners.
- The "Community-Based Health Planning and Services" program explored ways to bring participatory methodologies to scale.
- The malaria initiative was one of the few programs in Africa to apply strategic communication principles to a national home-based care strategy.
- The "Stop AIDS, Love Life" program was one of the world's first national campaigns to focus on stigma and discrimination and to involve faith-based organizations as partners from beginning to end.
- The "Sara Initiative" focused on building self-efficacy among girls for HIV prevention and family planning.
- The "Life Choices" family planning promotion utilized a lifestyle approach and worked through existing networks of women's community groups.
Ministry of Information and Presidential Affairs, Ministry of Health/Ghana Health Service (MOH/GHS), Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC), National Population Council (NPC), Ghana Social Marketing Foundation (GSMF), Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana
Note about materials: Some of the materials and resources listed on each page are available in their full form, others are represented by image or citation only. For more information and resources, go to www.jhuccp.org