The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has constructed 73 Community-based Health Planning and Service CHPS compounds in the Upper West Region in line with its efforts to improve healthcare in the region.
In addition, the JICA had provided 80 existing compounds with motorbikes and vaccine fridges.
The agency made this known in a press statement issued ahead of the airing of a documentary chronicling its progressive story, as well as challenges and successes of accessing healthcare in the Upper West Region through the eyes of a daughter of the land.
The 26-minute documentary, shot at many parts of the region, detailed key challenges faced by the region, the gradual and progressive journey to access healthcare and the future of healthcare in the region.
It details the roles played by the JICA, the Ghana government, the local community, its leadership and other well-meaning stakeholders.
The statement said the documentary will be aired on GTV, UTV, TV3 and Joy News.
“Before 2006, the Upper West Region was one of the most deprived and under-developed regions in the country. The Ministry of Health established that more than 75 per cent of the region’s population had to travel over eight kilometres to access basic community health services.
“In 2000, Ghana launched the CHPS strategy to facilitate improved health services delivery closer to the doorstep of community members,” the statement said.
Explaining, JICA said under the initiative, community health professionals, supported by community volunteers, were trained to provide basic healthcare that includes maternal and reproductive health, child health services, treatment of minor ailments, health education and promotion of healthy lifestyles, and follow-up on clients after treatment.
It said in 2006, the JICA decided to support and scale up the CHPS strategy in the region. “The JICA’s intervention in healthcare in the region took a holistic approach with the support package coming in both soft (Technical Cooperation) and hard components (Grant Aid).
The JICA’s interventions were largely successful despite some initial challenges. Before the inception of the projects in 2006, the region had about 24 CHPS facilities. Currently, the region has effectively set-up over 378 well-established CHPS facilities with about 80 per cent of the region’s population of 904,695 being able to access healthcare without any barriers.
The statement said the JICA trained over 1000 community health officers to plan and skillfully mobilised community members for health activities and support.
“The JICA provided technical training for midwives on safe motherhood for maternal and newborns and re-tooled each health centre with basic delivery equipment and portable autoclaves,” it said.