Plans are underway to incorporate the concept of Community-based Heath Planning Services (CHPS) for ‘Life Approach’ into the Health Training institutions curricula to equip students with the right skills to improve upon health services delivery.
Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Services (GHS), made the announcement in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region, when he addressed participants at the dissemination forum on the implementation of the project.
CHPS for Life project, which seeks to build a resilient and robust community health system in Ghana to meet the needs of all persons by strengthening community-based health services, focusing on Life-Course Approach, is being implemented in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
The five year project, which emphasizes on health care for all, is being implemented by the Ghana Health Service with financial and technical support from government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The project seeks to enhance Ghana Health Service’s capability to administer CHPS policies to expand functional CHPS, improve knowledge and skills of community health officers and introduce referral system to CHPS, health centers and hospitals across the country.
Dr Nsiah-Asare, who said the distribution of the community health nurses at the various CHPS compounds was not good, disclosed that the concept (CHPS for Life), particularly the Community Health Officers (CHOs) training, would be incorporated into the Community Health Nursing Training programmes to equip students with necessary quality skills to provide relevant health services to the community so as to contribute to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
The Director-General added that these students who would receive the pre-service training would be deployed to the communities, for the various CHPS compounds and not in the hospitals anymore.
“We have done lots of discussions about how to get a number of the Community Health Nurses into the community. The Community Health Nurse work is not in the hospital per-se, their clinic is in the community and I believe that, that is the way to go to get them very close to the community levels,” he stressed.
He said the job of the community health nurse was not only what was done in the hospitals but it involved holistic services provision including health promotion, health prevention activities such as immunization and giving talks to the community members as well as taking health services to the houses of community members such as midwifery services.
He said this would not only encourage the community members to access health services at the clinic but it would further strengthen optimal growth and development of community members, prevent diseases and contribute to the realization of SDGs especially goal three.
Dr Nsiah-Asare indicated that the world was dynamic and there was the urgent need for the CHPS concept to change with socio-cultural times in order to meet the needs of the people.
The forum, which brought together stakeholders in health, was also to update health professionals, managers and other key stakeholders in the health service delivery chain, progress made so far since the implementation of the CHPS for Life project in 2017.
The programme was to further afford the various beneficiary regions to evaluate and share their experiences with regards to the project implementation as well as lessons and good practices learnt.