A GH¢600,000 Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound was last Thursday inaugurated at Atsiekpoe, near Battor in the North Tongu District in the Volta Region.
This was realised through financial and technical support from an Accra-based Dutch-Ghanaian non-governmental organisation; Jolinaiko Eco Tours and Stepping Stones for Africa Foundation; and communal labour from the community.
At a durbar prior to the inauguration, the Paramount Chief of Battor, Togbe Patamia Dzekle VI, said the facility would definitely give Atsiekpoe a new status in various sectors, particularly in the area of the health, and that should boost productivity in the community.
He said the farming community of Atsiekpoe, with a population of about 700, deserved a health facility, and urged the people to handle the CHPS compound with a culture of maintenance.
The paramount chief also entreated the people of Atsiekpoe to maintain a strong bond of cordiality with the nurses and other staff of the CHPS compound, to ensure smooth service delivery from the facility.
“Let us help the workers at the CHPS compound here to help us,” he added.
Togbe Dzekle commended the people of Atsiekpoe for their self-help spirit and urged them to similarly take up other development projects, without relying on the government all the time for basic amenities.
He said it was gratifying to note that the CHPS compound was put up with readily available and simple materials, adding, “Let us continue to harness local resource for development.”
The MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, described the facility as a huge relief to the community, bringing to an end the inconvenience of trekking from Atsiekpoe to Juapong and Adidome for health services.
He thanked Jolinaiko Eco Tours and Stepping Stones for Africa Foundation for the kind gesture, which he said was timely and gave an indication of other development projects.
The District Director of Health, Roland Glover, said the Ghana Health Service attached great importance to CHPS implementation, because it covered about 60 per cent of the region’s population, serving as the first point of accessing healthcare services, mostly in the rural communities.
The President of the foundation, Cindy Noordermeer-Panou, said the CHPS compound would help to realise the eco-tourism potential of the community and bring dignity to the area.
Stepping Stones for Africa (SSFA) is a Dutch-Ghanaian charity organisation focused on grass roots development in villages in West Africa.
Mrs Noordermeer-Panou said the foundation’s vision was to empower deprived communities to lead their own development and improve the living conditions of their inhabitants, through small-scale projects initiated and sustained by the community itself or its leaders, and not imposed by others.
In another development, a water facility for the community which was initiated by the foundation, was also inaugurated.