Penplusbytes, a not-for-profit organisation, and its partners; SEND-Ghana and the Ghana News Agency, Thursday held a forum and an exhibition to discuss and showcase successes chalked under the People for Health (P4H) project.
The successes include improved access to quality health care, patient involvement in decisions, use of technology to reach underserved communities, and enhanced infrastructure and healthcare-related human resources.
The exhibitions also featured some testimonies of selected community members on sustained education on issues such as the national health policies, Patient Charter, malaria interventions, enhanced National health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) enrolment using mobile phones, improved health seeking behaviours, and WASH for disease prevention.
The five-year project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), aims at reducing inequalities in the delivery of health services through the promotion of good governance practices of accountability, transparency, equity and participation.
Panellists at the forum, including Dr Titus Bayuo, the Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr Yaw Opoku Boateng, the Deputy Director of Claims, National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA), and Mr Sam Quashie, the Head of ICT, Ghana Health Service (GHS), spoke on the importance of accelerating interventions to achieve the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) targets by 2030.
They admitted that although a lot had been achieved through the P4H Project a lot more remained to be done to further reduce inequalities within the healthcare delivery systems.
Mr Siapha Kamara, the Chief of Party, People for Health Project, who showcased some of the successes at the exhibition, said the Project had been expanded from its initial coverage in four regions; Eastern, Northern, Greater Accra and Volta, to include the North East, Savannah and Oti.
He said the P4H Project currently operated in 100 communities of 20 districts and in 582 health facilities by a consortium comprising SEND-Ghana, Penplusbytes, and the GNA.
The exhibition, on the theme: “P4H: Impact and Change in Communities for Sustainable Healthcare Delivery,” showcased the five thematic areas involving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); HIV and AIDS; Maternal and Child Health; Family Planning, Nutrition and Malaria.
These seek to strengthen the capacity of government and civil society organisations for mutual accountability.
Mr Kamara said the Project had also incorporated COVID-19 as part of its interventions to help sensitise the public on the pandemic, particularly on the safety protocols.
The project, which sought to empower Ghanaians to voice out their concerns with regards to service delivery in the health sector, received cumulatively 874,000 feedback through its Dashboard system out of which 97,040 of them were successfully resolved.
He said the exhibitions also featured some testimonies from selected community members applauding the implementing team for the sustained education on issues such as the national health policies, Patient Charter, malaria interventions, enhanced National health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) enrolment using mobile phones, improved health seeking behaviours, and WASH for disease prevention.
Those interventions, he said, were among the contributory factors for the successes in improving maternal and child health, malaria, uptake of Family Planning, as well as improving access to quality health care, especially for vulnerable groups such as persons living with HIV.
Regarding policy areas, Mr Kamara said there were 31.4 and 24.5 per cent of feedback on its Dashboard for maternal health and malaria issues, respectively, while others like WASH had 15 per cent, HIV and AIDS 13 per centy, Nutrition 8.5 per cent, Others 5.6 per cent, and COVID-19 2.1 per cent.
He indicated that although the Project was ending in 2021, the various interventions would be sustained by the beneficiary communities who now owned the various aspects.
With the knowledge, empowerment and leadership skills acquired by focal persons and community members, they would continue from where the funders left off, Mr Kamara said.
He commended SEND-Ghana for handling the aspect of participatory approach for social accountability and good governance, the GNA for an innovative approach to delivering the project goals and objectives through mass media, and Penplusbytes for the use of ICT for advocacy, social accountability and information dissemination.