SDGs: President Akufo-Addo receives 6,000 smartphones to support Ghana’s CHWs

The Government of Ghana through the Youth Employment Agency, the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Services worked with the 1mCHW Global Campaign to recruit, train and deploy 20,000 CHWs and 1,000 e-health Technical Assistants (eTAs) across all the 216 districts of the country.

Seven districts in Ashanti Region were selected as the national demonstration site to establish the scientific basis for the efficiency and effectiveness of this incentivized, professionalized eHealth-enabled CHW Program in strengthening Ghana’s primary health care systems and improving access to health care.

These trained CHWs visit households on regular basis for health promotion and education on environmental sanitation, immunization, family planning, ante-natal care, exclusive breastfeeding, nutrition among others using smartphones to report on their findings to their supervisors, the Community Health Officers, at the respective CHPS and health centers for care. They actively search for disease conditions such as malnutrition, malaria and diarrhoea, and with the aid of the smart phones, refer them to a health facility for advice on how to diagnose the disease condition.

President Akufo-Addo receiving the smartphones thanked Miss Gross, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs and the Millennium Promise Alliance represented by Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko for showcasing Ghana once again on the globe and contributing to strengthening Ghana’s Primary Healthcare.He added that the success of the Community Health Workers Initiative is indeed pioneering and worth sharing. He was optimistic that the smartphones, an ICT-driven initiative introduced to support the work of the CHWs, will help save lives in rural communities of Ghana where access to quality health care has been a challenge of successive governments.

President Akufo-Addo was accompanied by the Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director Family Health Division of GHS, Dr. Patrick Aboagye, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, deputy Chief of Staff, Abu Jinapor, the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, CEO of YEA, Justin Kodua, and the Board Chairman of the YEA, Sammy Awuku.

1mCHW Launches Health ‘Nnoboa’ Campaign

A campaign that seeks to create demand for family health services and increase coverage to bridge gaps in access to quality health care delivery has been launched at Asokore Mampong in the Ashanti Region. It is christened “Health Nnoboa” campaign and was initiated by the 1mCHW Campaign of Millennium Promise and its partners, Ashanti Regional Health Directorate, Ghana Health Service, Youth Employment Agency and the Rotary Club. The occasion was also used to introduce some Community Health Officers (CHOs) who have undergone some days of intensive training in basic health care services to the community.

The health ‘Nnoboa’ initiative of the Community Health Officers (CHOs) and Community Health Workers (CHWs) is a local concept adopted from the agricultural sector and which simply means supporting group farming. Under this concept, a group of farmers, about ten (10) agree to join forces to visit a member’s farm to weed without charging and taking turns to do same on each other’s farm till they finish cultivating in a season. The host farmer bears all the cost in terms of logistics, food and accommodation of their visitors.

To kick start the Health ‘Nnoboa’ Campaign, more than 400 CHOs and CHWs from thirteen (13) districts in the Ashanti Region, were invited by their colleague CHOs and CHWs in the Asokore Municipality on Thursday, August 31, 2017, for a one-day embarkation of a community outreach program to educate and counsel the people about primary health care.They covered areas such as counseling on exclusive breast feeding, family planning, maternal and child nutrition, immunization, as well as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). They also counseled the young ones in the community about teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and the need for them to abstain from early sex and concentrate on their education since that is the key to a brighter future.

The Asokore Mampong Municipality has been identified as one particular area where all the health indicators in the locality are very low, thereby, putting the health needs of the people at risk. With a population of over 340,000, the community has no government hospital or polyclinic. The few private clinics in the area are also not able to contain the population. Patients desirous of accessing quality health care then have to spend huge amount of money to travel to neighbouring districts or the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital for treatment.

Addressing a durbar prior to the embarkation of the community outreach program by the CHOs and the CHWs, the Ashanti Regional Director of Health, Dr. Alexis Nang-Beifubah, said even though Asokore Mampong Municipality is in town, it is more deprived and has more complex health problems than any other district in the region, hence, the need to introduce innovative programs such as the CHOs and CHWs ‘Nnoboa’ that would bridge the health needs of the people. “This is not happening in any other community because elsewhere we do only community health running and services using only the community health officers but here we’re reaching out to the community with our frontline health workers, the CHOs and the CHWs. We expect that it is going to improve health outcomes and the health needs of pregnant women and children under five,” he noted.

The Country Director of 1mCHW of Millennium Promise, Chief Nat Nsarko, addressing the gathering commended Dr. Alexis for commitment towards ensuring that health coverage covers all areas in the Ashanti Region. “Due to the work done by the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Alexis, Ghana is leading in the scale up of the CHWs initiative worldwide,” he said. He bemoaned the lack of investment in the health sector, especially, in the areas of primary health care, stressing that when the basics are done right, the country would be relieved of spending huge amount of money on health infrastructure projects. “We are encouraging our government that if we really want to make good use of our health insurance, then we must invest more in primary health care, community health officers and invest in strengthening our health systems as well as our community health workers. That is the only way by which we will be able to make good use of our meager resources in the country as a people and save the National Health Insurance Scheme from sinking,” he emphasized.

On his part, the Chief of Asokore Mampong, Nana Boakye Ansah Debrah II who chaired the event urged the CHOs to dedicate their all towards the sustainability of the program in the community. “Your footprints will determine the survival of the community health outreach program and will remain in the history books of the Asokore Mampong,” he noted.

The Municipal Chief Executive of the area, Alhaji Alidu Seidu, commenting on the initiative, decried the lack of health infrastructure in the community, noting that the absence of such facilities has really put his people in a very serious disadvantage position where they have to spend so to access quality health care in neighbouring districts. He said due to the lack of health infrastructure in the community, Asokore Mampong has always performed abysmally in the health league, a situation he pledged to turnaround having received the full support of the chief of the area.

Ms. Theresa Osei-Tutu, Chair of the Ghana National PolioPlus Committee of the Rotary International, commenting on the initiative called for linkages in achieving quality health care delivery in the country. She urged the CHOs and CHWs to make a difference in the community they are going render their services.

 

 

 

 

1mCHW Campaign Enters 13 New Districts To Hit 1,800 Target In Ashanti Region

The One Million Community Health Workers (1mCHW) Campaign of Millennium Promise and its partners, Ashanti regional health directorate of Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), have hit their target of training 1,800 Community Health Workers (CHWs) to deliver quality health care services at the door steps of the people living in rural communities in Ghana.

This follows their entry into thirteen new districts in the Ashanti Region in 2017, bringing the number of districts implementing the CHW project to 20 and hitting the target of 1,800 CHWs receiving the full package of CHW and eHealth training over a two-year period. The project was undertaken with funding support from GSK and British Telecom.

The project trained community health workers and equipped them with ehealth tools such as smart phones and tablets to support the provision of quality primary health care services within the Community Health-based Planning and Services (CHPS) Strategy.

CHPS is a Ghana Health Service primary health care strategy where Community Health Officers are engaged to live in compounds provided by the community or the Assembly to deliver basic health care to the door-steps of the people, while also making prompt referrals when necessary.

The focus of this innovation with CHWs and eHealth is to strengthen the home visitation component of the CHPS strategy. The trained CHWs visit households on regular basis for health promotion and education on environmental sanitation, immunization, family planning, ante-natal care, nutrition among others. They actively search for disease conditions such as malnutrition, malaria and diarrhea, and with the aid of smart phones, refer them to health facilities. The CHWs also trace defaulters and provide adherence support to people on treatment.

The 1mCHW campaign is a global campaign launched in 2013 at the World Economic Forum and endorsed by the African Union the same year. The mission of the Campaign is to accelerate the attainment of universal health coverage in rural sub-Saharan Africa by supporting governments and international partners, UN agencies, and national stakeholders dedicated to community health worker scale-up in the context of health systems strengthening.

The Government of Ghana worked with the 1mCHW Campaign to recruit, train and deploy 20,000 CHWs and 1,000 eHealth Technical Assistants (eTAs) across all the 216 districts of the country. Seven districts in Ashanti region were selected as the national demonstration site to establish the scientific basis for the efficiency and effectiveness of this incentivised, professionalised eHealth-enabled CHW program in strengthening Ghana’s primary healthcare system and improving access to healthcare.

The Campaign, in collaboration with the Research and Development Division of the Ghana Health Service (RDD-GHS) and the School of Public Health of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) has completed baseline data collection in the demonstration site.
In 2016, 700 CHWs and 28 eTAs were recruited and trained to work in the seven demonstration districts in Ashanti region, thus: Sekyere Kumawu, Bosome Freho, Amansie West, Amansie Central, Sekyere Central, Ejura Sekyeredumase and Asokore Mampong districts. Additionally, 267 CHOs were trained and equipped to effectively supervise the CHWs at the CHPS zone level.

Among the beneficiary districts in the just ended training are Ahafo Ano South, Atwima Kwanwoma, Afigya Kwabre, Offinso North, Sekyere South, Atwima Mponua and Sekyere Afram Plains.
The rest are Asante Akim North, Ahafo Ano North, Bosomtwe, Asante Akim South, Adansi South and Obuasi Municipal.

The CHWs were taken through modules such as Working with Communities, Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM), Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Maternal, Newborn and Child health.

The personnel were also taken through integrated community management of malaria and diarrhoea, Health of the Elderly, eHealth and Telemedicine with the facilitators drawn from the Ghana Health Service headquarters, region, and districts, as well as the 1mCHW Campaign of Millennium Promise.
The training was held at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

 

CHOs AWARDED FOR EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP IN SEKYERE KUMAWU DISTRICT UNDER THE 1mchw/CHPS PROGRAM

Bosome Freho held District health family forum on CHPS/CHW. All key stakeholders attended. Best CHO for 2016 (Olivia Berko of Duase CHPS) was awarded with citation, Gas cooker and utensils.
The CHO in her 3rd yr of practice, has many achievements including children been named after her.

Kudos to all,we will continue to count on all team members in our collective interest.

Low EPI Performing Districts Sacrifice X’Mas for CHW

I am happy to see districts with low EPI performance who were tasked to organize mop up being ahead of introducing CHWs to their communities. They have even sacrificed their X’MAS holidays which I believe it will help them to move away from low EPI performing districts.
Bravo!