A project to encourage residents of five districts in the Northern Region to patronise the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and annual sessions of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) has taken off.West Gonja, North Gonja, Central Gonja, Bole, and Sawla-Tuna-Kalba Districts are the beneficiaries of the two year project.
It is being implemented by the Coalition for Development of Western Corridor of Northern Region (NORTHCODE) and its partners with funding from STAR-Ghana, a multi donor pooled organisation.
The project seeks to provide user-friendly information on NHIS and EPI, strengthen Community Health Committees (CHCs) amongst stakeholders in the health sector to demand transparency and accountability from actors in the implementation of health sector policies at community and district levels.
In this direction, NORTHCODE at the weekend held a day’s training workshop at Buipe in the Central Gonja District for members of CHC to train as well as upgrade their knowledge to help implement the project.
Mr Joseph Mumuni, Coordinator of NORTHCODE said the training would enable the CHC members to effectively perform their roles such as promoting the uptake of community members into the NHIS and increasing community participation in the annual EPI of the Ghana Health Service to promote the health of the people in the districts.
Mr Mumuni, advised the trainees to take the lessons seriously to ensure the success of the project.
Mr Braimah Abdul-Razak, Scheme Manager of the Central Gonja Mutual Health Insurance Scheme, said some pregnant women in the district are not benefiting from the Free Maternal Care under the NHIS because of ignorance of the existence of the facility.
Mr Abdul-Razak said: “The result is that uptake of antenatal services involving pregnant women attending clinic has increased while supervised delivery at health facilities has not gone up as much as some expectant mothers prefer to deliver at home.”
He suggested the need to educate stakeholders and the communities to increase awareness of the scheme.