GPANThe Ghana Physical Activity Network (GPAN)

Mission
To establish open communication links between most, if not all, physical activity centers, advocates, practitioners, policy makers and inter-sectoral partners in the country and to provide members with a platform to build contacts.

Vision
It is envisioned that through the sharing of experiences, we can strengthen existing initiatives, and apply the lessons learned to growing the influence of physical activity as an important indicator of a community of holistic wellness.

Inter-relationships among Physical Activity Networks
GPAN is a wing of the Africa Physical Activity network (AFPAN). AFPAN participates actively in the Agita Mundo network, which is the global alliance for physical activity and health (www.agitmundo.org). Furthermore, AFPAN is a member of the Global Advocacy for Physical Activity (GAPA, www.globalpa.org.uk). GAPA represents the advocacy council for the International Society for Physical Activity and Public Health.

GPAN  joins the rest of the world to recognize inactivity as a major risk factor for chronic, non-communicable diseases. GPAN has emerged from the footprints of AFPAN-  as a response to a mandate created by delegates attending the first CDC-IUHPE International Course on Physical Activity and Health in Africa, in March 2007.  The formation of GPAN in ALWAG was also influenced by the resolution passed at the end of the 55th World Health Assembly of the World Health Organization in 2002, in which they recommended that a day be set aside annually to recognize and celebrate “Move for Health”. This resolution was then followed by the development and publication of the Global Strategy for Diet and Physical Activity and Health in May 2004.

Subsequent to these steps, the World health Organization and its partners and member-states have participated in a variety of consultations leading to useful publications, strategies and a toolbox for implementation of this strategy (www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/implementation.toolbox).

GPAN Functions
GPAN is a new physical activity network. Its functions include membership registration, coordination of network activities and events (e.g. conferences, seminars, workshops, teleconferences) in collaboration with GPEStt and ALWAG and support of communications between GPAN members.

The ALWAG Education & Research Center focuses, in part, on Physical Activity and Public Health research while GPAN specifically focuses mainly on identifying models of best practice for physical activity in Ghana with special emphasis on model’s impact on the prevalence of chronic, non-communicable diseases in Ghana. GPAN is coordinated by Dr. Richmond Aryeetey and Mr. John Nartey.

Contact
ALWAG Legacy Research & Education Center
TEL: 024-651-9895; 026-340-3907

GPAN on Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/gpanet

GPAN Objectives

  1. To augment national efforts to implement action on NCDs.
  2. To augment and promote efforts to increase levels of physical activity among youth and children as well as adults
  3. To generate ‘practice-based’ evidence in Ghana by evaluating community-based physical activity and sport programs
  4. To develop a National Report Card beginning with Physical Activity Status and Body Weight of Children and Youth in Ghana

Network Activities

  1. Provide a platform for sharing experiences and new projects. Also strengthen existing initiatives to lead to models of best practice
  2. Build relationships with physical activity practice centers and training centers as well practitioners and policy makers.
  3. Engage in Physical Activity Surveillance by monitoring physical activity levels of children in Ghana. Physical inactivity plays a major role in the prevalence of chronic, non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, throughout the continent.
  4. Observe (surveillance) national physical activity related policies or directives as well as try to bolster the network by seeking out more physical activity and health promotion programs.
  5. Conduct annual meetings, in collaboration with GPEStt-EMG, where members can share their experiences and build relationships with one another.
  6. Publish a newsletter to promote the network and encourage other programs to join.