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Health News Sat, 10 Aug 2013

Community Health Watch Project improve health delivery

in

Upper East

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

providers accountably.

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

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duty.

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

centre soon.

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.

After

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

rainstorm”.

The

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.

End

Source: Samuel Adadi Akapule, Tongo(UE)