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Project to strengthen community health systems underway

BY: Elizabeth Nyaadu Adu
Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov (left), Dr Esi Therson-Cofie (middle), the Accra Metro Director of Health Service, handing over the keys to Dr Charlotte Alberta Cato

The emergence of COVID-19 since March 2020 has affected all countries, with very few exceptions.

The disruption of health services which affected all persons, especially the most vulnerable, including women and children, has exposed the need to strengthen national and local capacities to respond effectively to health emergencies.

Although the pandemic remains a threat, supporting the continuity of essential health services to tackle malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) will be critical if Ghana is to attain the Sustainable Development Goal Three (SDG 3) of ending these epidemics by 2030.

Recognising the singular importance of supporting the country’s effort towards the continuity of essential health services during this pandemic, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Ghana, with funding from the Government of Japan, is implementing a project aimed at strengthening community health system to support the continuity of essential services to the vulnerable during and post-COVID-19 pandemic.

The project focuses on strengthening the capacities of communities and vulnerable groups such as women, children, persons living with HIV, persons with Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and slum dwellers for the uptake of health services during the post-COVID-19 pandemic, while strengthening the capacities of health facilities to continue essential service provision and the management of COVID-19 and future pandemics.

The project also seeks to equip five under-resourced health facilities and urban Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) in Ga Central and Accra Metro with relevant medical equipment to enhance service delivery.

At a short ceremony on April 1 in Accra to hand over one of the container structures to the Chorkor Chemuena CHPS in Accra Metro, the Deputy Representative of UNDP, Mr Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov, said: “UNDP believes that health and development are inextricably linked, and strengthening capacities of communities and individuals to improve community health outcomes makes development sense.”

He said the facility was constructed and equipped as part of the project essential health services provision at Chorkor Chemuena under the Ablekuma South sub-metro.

“As part of this intervention, UNDP, in collaboration with GHS, is also strengthening the capacity of other health facilities and CHPS zones in Accra Metro and Ga Central to ensure continued essential health services provision to underserved communities.

“We hope that the CHPS facility being handed over would strengthen access and quality of community health service provision and ultimately contribute to better health outcomes within Chorkor and its immediate environs,” Mr Khoshmukhamedov said.

Appreciation

The Sub-Metro Director of Health Service for Ablekuma South, Dr Charlotte Alberta Cato, expressed appreciation to UNDP and the Japanese government for the kind gesture.

She gave an assurance that the facility would be utilised well to improve the health of the people of Chorkor Chemuena and advised the health personnel working there to work effectively towards the delivery of quality health care.

She said with the CHPS compound now in place, the people of the community, especially pregnant women, would no longer travel long distances to the general hospitals to seek health care.