GHS disseminates findings of frontline health service assessments in Ghana

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Ghana Health Service

The Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights (ARHR) have begun disseminating findings of a survey conducted on frontline service readiness and capacity assessments in Ghana.

The survey, which was conducted in June with funding from the World Health Organisation (WHO), sought to assess Ghana’s health facilities’ capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining essential health services.

It examined COVID-19 case management capacities, continuity of essential health services as well as community needs, perception, and demand for health services.

A total of 143 facilities in nine regions participated in the survey which covered all levels of health facilities under the Ghana Health Service.

Dr Edith Koryo Wellington, Deputy Director, Research and Development Division of GHS disclosed these in a dissemination workshop held in Kumasi to discuss the findings.

Participants drawn from the Oti, Eastern, and Ashanti Regions attended the workshop organised by ARHR.

They included community health nurses, physician assistants, public health nurses, doctors, and other stakeholders from the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs).

Dr Wellington said the majority of the 143 facilities interviewed were managed by the government and about 56 per cent were located in rural areas, saying that about three out of four staff were clinical staff with nurses being the single largest staff category.

“Two per cent of staff in facilities surveyed was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the three months prior to the survey with more clinical staff diagnosed with COVID-19 than non-clinical staff,” she noted.

To ensure continuity of service, she said, facilities made efforts to deliver services to clients who missed scheduled appointments, adding that nearly eight out of 10 facilities had service restoration plans with a registry of missed appointments.

Dr Anthony Adofo Ofosu, Deputy Director-General of GHS said the survey was essential to identify the gaps in service delivery in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to address them for efficient healthcare delivery.

He said the key findings of the survey were that there was not enough oxygen in the facilities to cater for patients as well as Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for the health workers.

“When it comes to essential service delivery, we found out that the communities do not feel safe to come to our facilities during the COVID-19 period so there is the need for us to give them the confidence to access our facilities,” he explained.

Nii Ankonu-Sarpei Annobah, Programmes Director of ARHR, said it was important for civil society organisations to work closely with GHS to address the gaps in the health delivery system.

He said ARHR had over the years been involved in championing the health of vulnerable groups including women, children, adolescents, and persons with disabilities to ensure inclusiveness in addressing the health needs of the people.

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