Ghana – National Blood Lead Level Survey in Children Ages 1-5
UNICEF and Ghana Health Service
Pure Earth Ghana in collaboration with UNICEF and Ghana Health Service began one of Ghana’s largest ever blood lead level (BLL) testing and home based assessment programs in 2022.
The project will provide baseline data for Ghana that will aid in decision making on control measures. The study is being undertaken in communities within the three ecological zones of Ghana. The Public Health Division staff will lead the Ghana Health Service in carrying out the survey. The Public Health Reference Laboratory and laboratory staff within the corresponding districts will analyze the data, thereby strengthening the capacity of regional healthcare systems to effectively diagnose and manage lead-related morbidity.
The Ghana Health Service team started testing blood lead levels in Greater Accra, Ashanti, and the northern region of Ghana in November 2022. Shortly afterwards, Pure Earth and technicians from the Mountain Research Institute (MRI) conducted home based assessments, which included testing for potential sources of lead exposure in households such as paint, toys, cookware, spices, cosmetics, soil, and water. The blood lead level testing was focused on children ages 1–5, who are particularly susceptible to the harmful effects of lead exposure.
The findings of this program are expected in 2023 and will help inform public health initiatives and policies around lead poisoning prevention and awareness.