Ghana has one of West Africa’s most vibrant economies and most stable governments, is rich in natural resources, and has achieved a continuous reduction in poverty in recent years. Still, nearly 30 percent of its 26 million people are living below the poverty line, and infectious diseases pose major health risks to the lives of Ghanaians. Between 3.1 and 3.5 million cases of malaria are reported each year, and UNAIDS estimates an HIV prevalence rate of 1.5 percent. Although the HIV/AIDS epidemic is generalized, a few subgroups, such as injecting drug users, prisoners, female sex workers, and men who have sex with men, have a much higher risk of contracting the virus.
MEASURE Evaluation works in Ghana to provide technical assistance in carrying out components of the national HIV and AIDS strategy. We work with the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) to evaluate the National HIV Prevention Program for Key Populations, namely female sex workers and men who have sex with men. Support has focused specifically on:
- Implementing Ghana’s National Strategic Plan for Most-At-Risk Populations (MARPs), now referred to as “key populations,” which aims to reduce new HIV infections by reaching 80 percent of all key populations by 2015. MEASURE Evaluation conducted a mid-term report in 2014, which found a sizeable portion of key populations were being reached but that there was more to be done to eliminate counting errors or double counting of persons being reached. Improvements to systems are underway.
- Working with the Ghana AIDS Commission on Development of a Nationally Coordinated Evaluation Plan for the Ghana National Strategy for Key Populations, with particular emphasis on HIV-prevention work targeting female sex workers and men who have sex with men.
- Assisting the Ghana AIDS Commission and other stakeholders to develop an impact evaluation plan for the national key populations strategy, following UNAIDS guidelines.