Home Health CRS’ ACERS project enhances health care delivery

CRS’ ACERS project enhances health care delivery

Mr Callahan (in blue long-sleeved shirt) listening to how the Emergency Dispatch Center operates
Mr Callahan (in blue long-sleeved shirt) listening to how the Emergency Dispatch Center operates

By Albert Futukpor
Gushegu, July 24 – The Developing Acute Care and Emergency Referral Systems (ACERS) project, a USAID-funded initiative of the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to improve maternal health, has enhanced health care delivery services in communities.
The three-year project has improved health delivery in diverse aspects in areas including the Gushegu Municipality in the Northern Region and Nkwanta South in the Oti Region.
Mr Stephen Dadia, Gushegu Municipal Director of Health said the CRS’ partnership with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) through its projects had positively affected the health outcomes of pregnant women and children in the area.
He said it had contributed to reducing institutional mortality and neonatal deaths in the municipality from 112 to 22 per 100, 000 and 9.4 to 4.5 per cent, per 1000 live births respectively.
He said this when briefing the Global President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CRS, Mr Sean Callahan, during his visit to Gushegu to tour the project intervention areas of the organisation.
The ACERS project saw the establishment of an Emergency Dispatch Center (EDC) for the National Ambulance Service (NAS) in the Gushegu Municipality and the pregnancy school sessions to increase health literacy among pregnant women.
The EDC has been equipped with logistics including rural ambulances referred to as Modified Motorking Ambulances to coordinate referral activities at the pre-hospital level.
Mr Dadia said the rural ambulances harmonised referral activities of the NAS and the GHS, while the pregnancy school concept had improved the institutionalised system approach to community demand generation in more than 400 communities in the municipality.
He said the initiatives under the ACERS project had benefited health institutions as well as different categories of individuals in communities within the municipality.
Miss Rubama Kassim, a Midwife at the Gushegu Municipal Hospital, said the EDC communicated directly to the hospital prior to patients’ referrals, which made them ready to receive and attend to them promptly.
She said the EDC and rural ambulance systems had reduced tension on health caregivers at the hospital since referrals were done earlier than it used to be adding that the hospital received more referrals and referred less because most cases were taken care of at the municipal level due to preparedness.
Akua Lajegil, a beneficiary of the ACERS project, said she delivered one of her triplets at home impromptu, which left her life and that of the other two in danger but using the rural ambulance helped to save their lives as it swiftly conveyed her to the hospital for attention.
Dr Mohammed Ali, Chief of Party of the ACERS project said women’s knowledge on danger signs during pregnancy had increased from 25% to 82% in four years.
He said the “Project’s overall objective of reducing maternal mortality was achieved as institutional mortality rate of 112 had reduced to 22 per 100, 000 live births in the Gushegu Municipality between the span of 2018 to 2022.”
Mr Callahan, speaking to beneficiaries of the ACERS project, said the project was an investment into the health and protection of women and children.
He encouraged beneficiaries of the pregnancy school to use the opportunity to learn more and educate others to ease maternal health stresses among them.
Mr Daniel Mumuni, Country Representative of CRS urged stakeholders of the project to consistently communicate among themselves to keep its impacts running.
He said CRS was committed to supporting health care delivery in the country encouraging workers to coordinate, and work together to extend enhanced health care delivery across the country.
The NAS workers at the EDC, as part of efforts to increase proactive service delivery and sustain activities under the project, had a digitised system, which tracked services and stored data.
The data base recorded a reduction in maternal mortality in the Nkwanta South, from 13% in 2019 to 6.2% in 2021.
The EDC data indicated that the average response time for health facilities with rural ambulances was less compared to communities without rural ambulances.

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