Ghana Health Service holds forum to assess CHPS concept

stethoscopeThe Upper West Regional Directorate of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) has organized a forum in Wa to discuss the achievements and challenges of the Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) concept.

The CHPS concept has been implemented in the region for 10 years.

Chiefs, representatives of municipal and district assemblies, community health officers, GHS personnel and officials of the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) participated in the forum on Friday to discuss roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the CHPS implementation strategy.

Mr Zaachi Sabogu, Regional Coordinator of CHPS, said the high rate of attrition of Community Health Officers (CHOs) in the region was a major hindrance to the success of the programme.

After a massive training of CHOs to man the CHPS compounds since the concept was introduced in 2002, only 135 of them were in the system out of which over 100 were trained recently.

He cited poor security of CHPS compounds, lack of motivation for volunteers as there was no formal reward system and working in dilapidated structures some of which had to be closed down to avoid disaster, as some of the serious challenges.

Dr Ephraim Avea Nsor, Upper West Regional Minister, suggested that CHOs, whose training was sponsored by the district assemblies, should be bonded to work in their respective districts for a reasonable time.

“The situation as it is now could be alarming because whereas the facilities are not available in their required numbers, the available ones do not have the requisite CHOs to man them,” he said.

He commended JICA for planning to construct 71 CHPS compounds between 2013 and 2015 and for other numerous interventions it had undertaken in the region.

Dr Nsor assured JICA that the Regional Coordinating Council and the district assemblies would give the necessary support for the projects to be executed.

He appealed to traditional rulers and opinion leaders to mobilize community members to render their support to the CHPS compounds.

He urged them to show positive attitude to the CHOs to make their stay comfortable so as to discharge their duties effectively.

Dr Alexis Nanbei-Fubah, Regional Director of Health Services, said the CHPS concept, which is aimed at making health care available to the people at the grassroots, was started in the region and adopted as a national strategy in 2002.

He said the region had 24 CHPS compounds by 2006 which were scaled up to 84 in 2010 through the support of the Japanese Government.

Dr Erasmus Agongo, Director of Policy Planning and Evaluation of the GHS,  had earlier inaugurated a well equipped office for staff of the CHPS Unit at the Regional Health Directorate which was constructed by JICA at a cost of GH¢ 54,000.00.

He described the edifice as a shining example of the good partnership between the Government of Ghana and its development partners, especially Japan.

Mr Ikeda Takahara, Chief Adviser of JICA, expressed appreciation for the team work and the enthusiasm of his staff and their Ghanaian counterparts in the construction of the building.

Source: GNA

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