Upper West Regional Director of Health Services Dr. Osei Kuffour Afreh
A recent exercise undertaken by Ghana Health Service on Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) verification and implementation has placed the Upper West Region first as the best performing region in CHPS implementation.
The Regional Directorate of Health Services (RDHS) achieved this feat by constructing new CHPS leading to a 63 percent increase in demarcated zones, training and deployment of Community Health Officers to man the CHPS zones and actively involving community health volunteers.
This came to light when the Upper West Regional Director of Health Services Dr. Osei Kuffuor Afreh addressed participants at the 2018 Annual Regional Health Sector Performance Review at Wa. The review conference was hinged on “the role of quality data in achieving universal health coverage.”
Dr. Kuffour Afreh disclosed that in partnership with JICA, the RDHS is expanding the mandate of CHPS centre.
The new initiative dubbed ‘CHPS for Life” or “CHPS Plus” would address Universal Health Coverage for all. This would include pregnant women, children, adolescents, adults and age appropriate care for the aged.
Dr. Kuffour Afreh was however, unhappy about some challenges the service faced in redeeming claims from the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA).
He said the new policy by the Authority which required the Ghana Health Service and other clients to generate codes to redeem claims is problematic in some parts of the region because of network failure.
He also implored the NHIA to consider setting up an office in the region to facilitate their business transactions saying “all claims are submitted at Tamale Claims Processing Centre, a situation we find unbearable and unfair since it poses a threat to staff availability for the service delivery amidst risk of travelling to and fro every month to Tamale.”
The Regional Director of Health Services expressed disappointment on the refusal of posting to the region and some district by some medical staff.
Although the doctor/population ratio had increased marginally, Dr. Kuffuor Afreh believed more work needs to be done to encourage staff accept posting to rural areas. He said management has placed a temporary embargo on transferring staff out of the region because of the imbalance in in-postings and out-postings.
The Deputy Upper West Regional Minister Amidu Issahaku Chinnia said theme for the conference was apt as it stressed on the need for data.
He said as Ghana has committed itself to achieve universal health coverage by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs, the health service must be able to provide affordable, equitable and easily accessible heath care to all; a feat the Deputy Minister maintained cannot be achieved without accurate data.
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit him at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.