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Health News of Saturday, 26 October 2019


USAID and partners encourage Ghanaians to 'Live a Good Life'

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United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to encourage Ghanaians to “Live a Good Life”.

The GHS has revived the GoodLife brand which is a mass media campaign to promote healthy lifestyle messages through television, radio, posters, and brochures. A statement issued by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said it supported the GHS to reach out to 17.5 million people with messages on reproductive health and family planning, nutrition, malaria prevention, maternal, and neonatal, child health, and water, sanitation, and hygiene. It said the GHS aired 14,900 television and 62,000 radio spots promoting healthy behaviours to improve the health and well-being of Ghanaians. The statement said in 2018, the First Lady of Ghana, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, officially endorsed the “Slice of Life” campaign, lending her powerful voice to the GoodLife brand, adding that the “Slice of Life” campaign was built on the GoodLife campaign and welcomed celebrities and influential figures as participants and spokespersons. On October 22, the GHS and the USAID gathered in Accra and celebrated the GoodLife campaign and many other accomplishments at the USAID Communicate for Health learning event, it said. The statement said USAID also supported the National Population Council, the GHS, and others to develop three seasons of the hit series “You Only Live Once,” an educational and entertainment drama series to promote positive health behaviours directed at the youth, which included reproductive health, malaria prevention, and nutrition. “Its positive living messages successfully trend in social media platforms among the youth in Ghana. The series currently has 12 million views on YouTube and increases daily,” it said, and that one youth noted, “Overall, if there’s youth edutainment show on TV now, it is YOLO. It is so refreshing and informative.” The statement said Ms Janean Davis, USAID/Ghana Acting Deputy Mission Director, joined the GHS Director General, Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare to commemorate the event. She congratulated all partners including health promotion officers, community health officers, and community health volunteers who work tirelessly to bring health messages to doorsteps in Ghana. The statement said the USAID and the GHS Health Promotion Division (HPD) worked hand-in-hand to make the project a success, and that from 2014-2017, USAID supported the renovation of the HPD office space, including a theatre which is now rented for income generation. “In April 2019, with USAID support, HPD launched the National Social and Behavioural Change Communication Resource Center, an electronic library with hundreds of television, radio, and print materials produced in Ghana. “The Centre also serves as a repository of information for the generation and dissemination of future social and behaviour change communication materials,” it said. The statement said “Social and behavioural change drive healthy behaviour, and healthy citizens are productive citizens.” It said a fisherman by name Simon from Avate Tornu in the Volta Region, heard a GoodLife radio programme, which pushed him to construct a latrine for his household to avoid open defecation and since the construction of the larine, diarrhea has significantly decreased in his household. “It is only when the messages are put into practice that the GoodLife can be truly realised,” Simon said. GNA PDC

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