Summary: CHF 205’309 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 1 February 2013 to support Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) in delivering assistance to some 12,000 households who were affected by the cholera outbreaks in Obuasi and Ejura in the Ashanti Region.
A rapid assessment was carried out prior to the response operation by GRCS volunteers to determine the risk factors and to identify any gaps that were not covered by other stakeholders during the outbreaks. The Ghana Red Cross Society (GRCS) cholera intervention was designed to increase the capacity of the two districts which were affected by the cholera epidemic to mitigate the effects of the outbreak at both the household and community levels.
The interventions are in line with IFRC Strategy 2020 under Strategic Aim 2 which seeks to enable healthy and safe living. The intervention did not only seeks to provide the needs of the beneficiaries at the emergency phase of the epidemic, but also sought to provide a long term solution to the identified beneficiary needs. The response operation has contributed significantly to the knowledge level of the community members in terms of WASH priorities which influenced behaviour positively. There has been a strong link between the communities and Community Health Programmes Systems (CHPS) for referrals and reporting of suspected cases of public health concerns to the health facilities.
GRCS trained 80 volunteers and reached 11,520 households with cholera prevention messages. With an average family size of 6, a total average number of 69,120 beneficiaries benefited from the DREF operation. Trained volunteers also promoted hand washing with soap at critical times to 11, 520 households in the affected districts in the Ashanti region and those volunteers with the skills in WASH sensitised 11,520 households on regular hand washing and food handling in critical times.Additionally,sensitization and demonstration sessions on Household water treatment methods were held and health sensitization activities to the affected communities conducted in the 2 districts with 32 sessions done (2 per community). Health promotion messages were also disseminated through 4 radio and TV sessions (2 per district).A total of 40 sensitization and demonstration sessions on ORS preparation including the use of zinc tables with emphasis on children under 3 years during community gatherings were conducted. In total, 152 cases of cholera were detected and referred to the health centres within the affected regions
Financial Summary: There was a small over expenditure on the workshops and training line of CHF 221 due to printing and photocopying of more materials than was planned for use at the volunteer trainings. Meanwhile, soap was mistakenly budgeted under other supplies and services, but charged under water, sanitation and hygiene budget line, resulting in the unspent budget of CHF 30,500 on the former and over expenditure of CHF 30,876 on the latter. Under information and public relations, the overspend of CHF 4,604 is related to the production costs related to IEC and visibility promotion exercises. The balance of CHF 6,844 at the close of the operation will be will be returned to DREF.
The major donors and partners of DREF include the Australian, American and Belgian governments, the Austrian Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross and government, Danish Red Cross and government, European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO), the Irish and the Italian governments, the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Luxembourg government, the Monaco Red Cross and government, the Netherlands Red Cross and government, the Norwegian Red Cross and government, the Spanish Government, the Swedish Red Cross and government, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Medtronic and Z Zurich Foundations, and other corporate and private donors.
IFRC, on behalf of the Ghana Red Cross Society, would like to extend thanks to all partners in this operation and for their generous contributions.