Health delivery systems in the Talensi, Nabdam and Garu-Tempane
Districts in the Upper East Region is improving significantly as a result
of the implementation of the Community Health Watch Project being piloted by the
Presbyterian Health Service-North.
The project which is being sponsored by the
Strengthening, Transparency, Accountability, and Responsiveness (STAR-Ghana) is
building the capacities and forming Community Health Committees (CHCs) in
these districts to empower the communities to demand and hold health service
At a workshop to build the capacities of
Community Health Committees (CHCs) at Tongo the Talensi District capital,
the District Director of Health in charge of Talensi and Nabdam
Districts, Ms Rosemond Azure, lauded the project and said it would
help her outfit to check nurses who exhibit laziness and absent themselves from
She informed the CHCs that the Ghana
Health Service would be posting Community health nurses to each of the
electoral area in the Districts to help bring health delivery to their
doorsteps and impressed upon them to ensure that all pregnant women in their
area delivered at health facilities.
In furtherance of the need to maintain
discipline among health providers especially Ghana Health Service staff, Ms
Azure urged the CHCs to monitor the activities of health providers to ensure
that they were at post to serve the community members.
She cited an instance where she had
to change all the nurses at the Shia Community Health based Planning Services
(CHPS) Centre when she received several complaints from the CHCs about the
absenteeism and negative attitudes of the nurses there, stressing “this has
brought about improved health service delivery in the area”
The Director commended the Duusi
Health Committee for inviting her to a meeting to discuss the need for a midwife
at the CHPS Centre and indicated that the move by the committee
confirmed their readiness to support their people manage their health needs.
She therefore assured them that a midwife would be posted to the
Mr Rudolf Abugnaba–Abanga, Policy
Influencing, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer of the Presbyterian Health
Service-North, said the main tool used by the CHCs was the Community
Score Card which enabled the communities to assess the performance of their
health service providers using key indicators they have generated.
He noted that under the capacity building
program they are trained to monitor indicators include, 24
hour availability of general services, 24 hour availability of ambulance
services, availability of drugs and antigens, Improved attitude of staff,
Improved Home visits, 24 hour availability of delivery services, improved
health infrastructure (Accommodation) and consistent or regular outreach
services among others.
observing shortfalls in the above mentioned indicators, Mr Abugnaba-Banga said
the CHCs would convene a meeting with the health providers to see how they
could address them and if it was beyond them, they reported to the
District Health Director who would then handle the problem.
According to Mr Abugnaba–Abanga these health
committees have got general responsibilities to advocate for improved health
services in their communities. “It is worth mentioning that in barely six
months of existence, the CHCs have started actively engaging stakeholders in
health in their districts”.
He mentioned some communities that have
actively engaged health providers to include Sumaduri, Bulpelisi, Bugri,
Worikambo in the Garu–Temapne District, where the CHCs have ensured that
nurses stayed and rendered 24 hour services. "At Woriyanga CHCs have
discussed delays at the clinic and health authorities have put in place
strategies that has actually reduced waiting times and has improved services at
the dispensary and at Gorogo in the Talensi District CHCs have also
mobilized resources to roof part of their clinic which was destroyed by
project’s overall goal is to improve utilisation of health
services, particularly Maternal Health Services, by encouraging local
innovation through joint planning and monitoring of programs between
Community Health Committees and local health authorities.