There are 4,700 community health-based planning services (CHPS) in the country, Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyirah, Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has indicated.

Dr Appiah Denkyirah said the establishment of the community health posts, with support from the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), in hard-to-reach communities has helped the country to improve on its maternal and child health indicators.

The head of GHS made this known at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Japan International Corporation Agency, (JICA), the Ministries of Health and Finance and the Ghana Health Service (GHS).

The agreement, titled: ‘Strengthening community-based health services focusing on the life-course approach in the Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions’, was to strengthen and expand the implementation of CHPS policy in the three northern regions as well as provide technical support to the implementing agencies.

Koji Makino, Chief Representative Ghana Office (JICA), said the upcoming technical cooperation is an expansion of the past 10 years’ cooperation in Upper West Region to the entire three northern regions.

“The project will be implemented in the Upper West, Northern and Upper East Regions of Ghana within five years period addressing maternal neonatal and child health and infectious diseases as well as new and emerging health issues which account for about forty percent of cause of death,” he said.

Mr Makino indicated that health conditions such as non-communicable diseases, including nutrition and ageing will be introduced under the new project, explaining that the idea is to address the health issues through the life-course approach which will be introduced into the package of primary healthcare at CHPS level.

“The project will focus on strengthening community health activities, capacity of community health management committees and volunteers and strengthen the collaboration between local government and the health directorates for the promotion of promotion of CHPS policy under the decentralisation of the health sector,” he said.

Mr Makino said to solidify the support for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), JICA would continue to support the efforts of government through the dispatch of policy advisors to support the future implementation of the CHPS policy.

Health Minister Alex Segbefia, remarking on the agreement, pointed out that the CHPS project is the backbone of the country’s healthcare system, adding that the expansion to the other three regions will help the country in the attainment of its health indicators in maternal and child health.

He was appreciative of the technical and infrastructural support JICA has invested into the countries healthcare system, hoping that the lessons learnt in the implementation of the previous project would be applied for better outcomes.

Dr Ebenezer Appiah Denkyirah, Director General of the Ghana Health Service, said through the support of JICA, the country has over 4,700 CHPS compounds and expressed his appreciation to the people of Japan for supporting the country’s health system.

Source & Photo Credits: | Jamila A. Okertchiri