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GhanaNeeds Foundation

Hieronder volgt een beschrijving van de activiteiten van de Ghana Needs Foundation in het Engels. Nederlandse informatie over Ghana Needs is te vinden in het Projektvoorstel Voedingstherapie en onder de link 'Organisatie en huisvesting' (zie kolom links).


Brief introduction of the organization

This organization is a rural community research-based with no religious, political, ethnic or governmental affiliations. It was founded in the year 2002, but was duly registered under the name GhanaNeeds Foundation (GNF) in 2003, in accordance with Ghana Companies Act 1963.

GNF activities are divided into 3 main departments, these are:

1. Its primary focus is in the area of Care and Support for which it is currently collaborating with the District Assemblies and the Catholic Diocese in the identification and support of OVC*/PLWHA** in the Upper West, Upper East and Central regions.

2. A research department that is instrumental in several local and international sponsored rural community based researches. The most recent is the study of the status of AIDS orphans and vulnerable children in Ghana. Sponsored by UNDP with collaboration of Ghana AIDS Commission representing the Government.

3. A capacity building department was recently added to GNF’s areas of operation. It is responsible for building the capacity of rural community leadership interactive program. This allows the chiefs, opinion leaders, unit committee members and farmers association meet once a week to engage in open forum to discuss the HIV/AIDS and other problem areas in the community including traditional style of care and support and child trafficking and migration issues.

* OVC = Orphans and Vulnerable Children
** PLWHA = People Living with HIV and Aids


GNF was able to identify several PLWHA, their children and Caregivers. In the wake of our effective strategies on the ground, three associations of PLWHA were form in the Upper West, while AIDS orphans Caregivers association was formed in Kasoa in the Central region, the Bongo community’s associations is yet to be formed, the delay is due to high degree of stigma in the community. We have been supporting all the above associations with our own resources.

New Implementation Plan

GNF seeks to duplicate its activities in other deprived communities, but it is handicapped in the areas of finance and transportation. Our field staffs find it difficult to move into the hinterlands, because public transport stops only at their terminals and we have to continue by hiring cars.

PLWHA/AIDS Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Urgent Needs:


1. They are in dire need of balanced diet (Nutrition) in other for them to become strong to fight the opportunistic infections.
2. They need enough medication to reduce the impact of the opportunistic diseases.
3. They need to be put into income generating activities for which they can use the profits for the treatment of the opportunistic infections and to sustain their clinical appointments. This is the effective means of sustaining the program, as against the idea of relying completely on donors.


1. For those who are dropped out due to lack of fees would be returned back to school.
2. Those who are of school going age and yet are not in school would be sent to school.
3. They would be supported in their domestic up keep especially in the areas of nutrition since they are highly malnourished.


In total, GNF identified the following number of PLWHA and AIDS/OVC within the 5 months of our pilot project:


Wa Community = 97
Lawra Community = 26
Nandom Community = 28 (near a boarder town)
Total: 151 (Upper West only)


From all the five communities are numbered as 356, but about 100 are being cared for by their immediate relatives while GNF is struggling to care for the 256, out of which 130 are school drop outs while 126 are yet to even start schooling.

Problems and cultural practices that contribute to the spread of HIV and Aids in the three northern regions of Ghana

Conclusions below are for Lawra District (UW)

Recording a population of 92,065 in the year 2000, the Lawra District had the highest population density with a high level of malnutrition among mothers and children.

According to the Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (1998), 34.6% of children under five years in the region were stunted (height for age), 7.5% were wasted (weight for height), and 28.4% were under weight. Infant mortality in the region remained high at 81.5 per 1000 live births.

The above portrays a regional status and given the extreme hardships faced by most households in the Lawra District, the situation could even be worse.

As a result of the poor soils, food production is extremely low which calls for annual import of food items from adjoining Districts of Jirapa/Lambusie, Nadowli, Wa, and Sissala, which most parents cannot afford.

Poverty has therefore affected the lives of the people in the areas of malnutrition, low education, access to health and other social conditions. In all these cases, women, children and the aged are most affected because they are the vulnerable groups in the communities. The issue of poverty has driven many youth both young men and women into unhealthy economic activities including prostitution and young men into commuting to other regions for greener pastures, which are fertile grounds for contracting HIV/AIDS.

Over the years, the LMNRC has provided support to rehabilitate malnourished patients at the Center as well as extending outreach services in the communities. In the year 2002 for example, a total of 52 in-patients and 151 outpatients were handled. Today with the threat of the deadly disease HIV/AIDS, the Center cannot be left out in the war against the pandemic.

A case in point is that in the last three years the Center handled a number of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. That is, in 2001, ten (10) out of fourteen (14) died; 2002 recorded thirty-two (32) cases with twenty-five (25) deaths and as at the third quarter of 2003, thirty-seven (37) cases were recorded. Most of these are orphans, pregnant and lactating mother who are referred to the center on grounds of malnutrition.

It is sad to note that despite the education that is on-going to ameliorate the situation the number continues to increase daily; and yet many cases are undiagnosed because they are not reported.

Problems of the HIV / Aids patients

1. Prone to many diseases due to poor resistance that has been caused by the disease AIDS.

2. Poverty due to long term illness, which makes them unable to do any work.

3. Loss of appetite leading to malnutrition.

4. Loss of interest in the society due to their general appearance which causes them to isolate themselves.

5. For fear of infection, people tend to withdraw from them.

6. Due to the chronic ill health, parents of victims are unable to play their parental roles, leading to conflicts, divorce, mental problems, and their children are dropouts in school or totally denied of education. Malnutrition is usually present in the families.

7. Some commit suicide due to all these problems.

8. Lack of funds to buy drugs to treat their opportunistic conditions, which come on regularly.

One of the major constraints HIV/AIDS patients are facing is inadequate nutritional level that could support them while they go through the requisite medical and moral care. Indisputably, many gaps remain in the area of education to check and/or control the spread and effects of HIV/AIDS in the District.

Through the leadership discussion in the community open forums, GNF identified some characteristics of living condition that brought about high degree of stigmatization, child trafficking and child labor in the rural setups.

Some of the characteristics of living condition of the communities include;

I.) The community is one of the major abodes of immigrants/migrants commercial sex workers. Residences are of divers ethnic, religious, social economic background. Such community is usually the transit or temporally stops point for immigrants from various neighboring countries in the sub region and others from other rural communities in Ghana.

II.) Mainly polygamous cultural background, children are fathered to parents not based on ability to provide good care/support, but on ability to produce numbers as a mark of cultural respect and pride.

III.) Deep in cultural and religious practice that often only recognizes the supremacy of the man and sidelines the women and children in their pursuit for better standard of living.

IV.) Basically with low or no disposable income. As cost of basic education and cost of living continuous to rise, children are relegated to the background as the parents themselves struggle to survive.

V.) Facing serious environmental and health problems. These situation turns to subvert the confidence and undermine the psychological threshold in child upbringing and development. Aspirations of children in such communities are very low. Most of the people living with children are elderly left as care givers with little or no incomes, by their young adults sons and daughters who themselves are struggling to cope with life elsewhere.

VI.) Traditionally, Parents who produced daughters even if it is the only one, they believe that one female must always remain in the house to look after her parents, but is allowed to make boyfriends and even children that will eventually remain orphan.

VII.) In Lawra particularly, tradition allows it that, when the husband of any woman dies, the immediate brother must take over the wife even if he already has his on wife, the diseased brother’s wife automatically becomes a second wife…


Lees verder over ...

Fotoverslag Wa [februari 2004] - deel 1

Fotoverslag Wa [februari 2004] - deel 2

Fotoverslag Wa [februari 2004] - deel 3

Bezoek aan Wa [januari 2004]


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170.000 Aidswezen in Ghana: artikel op Ghanaweb.com

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