WHO has donated a Toyota Hilux Pickup to the West Akim Health Directorate of the Ghana Health Service. This is in support of case search and social science research; a component of the Yaws Eradication Programme currently being rolled out in Ghana.
Speaking at the brief handing over ceremony, the Acting Country Representative of WHO Ghana, Dr Neema Rusibamayila Kimambo said that Yaws was a devasting skin disease, which affects the bones and cartilage, leading to severe disfigurement. She indicated that it was one of the first diseases targeted for eradication by WHO and UNICEF back in the 1950's, but in recent times, WHO has had to renew global efforts to eradicate Yaws because it is known to be still endemic in about 15 countries including Ghana.
Dr Kimambo mentioned that Mass Drug Administration (MDA), also called Total Community Treatment (TCT) is the current WHO recommended strategy with a target coverage of at least 90% in endemic communities. She reiterated WHO's support for Yaws eradication in Ghana through a donation of Azithromycin; a drug administered as a single dose for complete cure. Mass Drug Administration (MDA) will be rolled out in 2020.
In response, the Acting Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Patrick Aboagye thanked WHO for this donation. He indicated that this was a timely support to the district. Dr Aboagye mentioned that he was confident the district would use the vehicle for the intended purpose.