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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

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Building a robust health system for all

Image credit: UNDP Ghana

For several years, individuals within the chorkor municipality traveled miles to seek medical health care. Deborah Otoo is a nursing mother who lives in the Chorkor community. She used to access health care service in a different town, and sometimes had to walk 4 kilometres when she had no money for transportation.

“I was only able to get access to health care service in another town which is far and I was spending a lot on transportation. Sometimes, I walked for about 4 kilometres if there is no money”, narrated Deborah, a nursing mother in the chorkor municipality.

Deborah is currently benefiting from a health project being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service, with funding from the Government of Japan. Through the interventions, 22 under-resourced health facilities including Urban Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds have been equipped with relevant medical equipment to enhance health care service delivery. These facilities are in the Ga Central and Accra Metropolitan Assemblies in the Greater Accra region of Ghana.

“Now, we are happy this community is blessed with a health facility, and we don’t have to travel miles again for health care service”, Deborah added.

Through the interventions, the Chorkor community received a fully equipped CHPS compound, and a patient-care block was constructed at Anyaa Polyclinic. Other zones have received medical and operational equipment, including weight and height scales, adult and pediatric stethoscopes, digital blood pressure apparatus, refrigerator thermometers, motorbikes and tricycles and tablets.

“What a timely intervention that serves our health needs in this vicinity”, said Hajia Samiratu Razak, Community Member in Chorkor.

For a health professional like Dr Esther Odame Aseidu, the interventions are supporting the continuity of essential health services, especially for vulnerable community members.

“For a very long time, this health facility has been in need of different equipment to carry out effective health care delivery. It was during the COVID time that we received support from UNDP and the Government of Japan to help carry out our duties successfully. We are really grateful for this timely intervention”, noted Dr. Odame, the District Health Director for Ga Central.

In another beneficiary community, Tony Koranteng, Head of Administration and Support Service at Anyaa Polyclinic disclosed that over the past years, their facility has recorded low patronage due to lack of equipment to deliver quality health service. He explains how the equipped CHPS facility has been of great benefit to the whole community.

“Before the fully equipped CHPS facility was handed over to the Anyaa polyclinic, we didn’t have enough space to offer different services to patients and sometimes had to transfer patients. But thanks to the support, we now offer more services and now, there has been an increase in the number of patients who visit the facility”, Mr. Koranteng disclosed.

Achieving universal health coverage for all is at the heart of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 and efforts must be increased to reach those furthest behind. A collaborative approach can help bridge the gaps in healthcare services delivery and partnerships must be leveraged to upscale current impacts.

Source: UNDP Ghana

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