The Governing Council of the Ghana Health Service (GHS) is excited about formation of Mother-to-Mother and Father-to-Father Support Groups in the Upper West Region.
The Council was impressed with the strong partnership between Community Health Practitioners and the groups in the dissemination of key health information among group members and the various communities.
After hearing about the work of the Mother-to-Mother Support groups at the Poyentanga Health Centre and the activities of the Father-to-Father Support Groups at Domangyili CHPS, the Council’s Chairman Dr. Yao Yeboah was convinced that such groups should be replicated across the country.
It was the Council’s hope that the concept of Mother-to-Mother Support Groups and Father-to-Father Support Groups will be carried across the country to bring health care closer to people in various communities.
The Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr Yao Yeboah said the groups are examples of best health practices.
He said this while addressing gatherings when the Governing Council visited selected health facilities across the region to get firsthand information on the activities of health practitioners in the Upper West Region.
He said, “the Ghana Health Service is working on a system where we are going to promote prevention and promotion of health.
Records show that high blood pressure, hypertension, diabetes; most of these cases can be prevented but we have a number of them in communities in Ghana and it is not cost effective for the government of Ghana, individuals and families to spend money and time treating cases that can be prevented.”
“For us to see volunteers; mother-to-mother care volunteers as we see here today; the council is happy because they are the agents of change in the communities. They will go and educate their colleagues in the communities that if you are pregnant, make sure you go to a qualified midwife, take care of yourself and the baby to be born.”
Dr. Yao Yeboah also said the GHS is working to ensure that Regional, Districts and Sub-district Health Administrations are provided with cars and motorbikes to aid them in the execution of their daily activities.
The GHS Council is the governing body of the Service and is mandated to have general control of the management of the service.
The Council as part of its work planned regional tours to acquaint themselves with the real issues affecting members of the service.
The visit to the Upper West Region is the ninth in the series of tours of the Council.
The Director General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare revealed that Ghana has signed unto the Astana Declaration 2018.
The Declaration seeks to achieve universal health coverage by the year 2030 using Primary Healthcare.
He said Ghana is on course to achieving this goal using the CHPS system. He therefore urged Community Health nurses to deliver on their mandate diligently to aid Ghana achieve the set target.
The new Upper West Regional Director of Health Dr. Osei Kuffuor Afreh called for professionalism amongst health practitioners while maintaining good interpersonal relationships with patients.
“We want everybody to show a high sense of professionalism……Professionalism is the certificate you went to school to acquire. Practice what you were taught in school; that is what you are paid for. When it comes to professionalism it is non-negotiable,” he stressed.
Citing an example of professionalism, Dr. Kuffuor Afreh was quick to mention the Officer in charge of the Domangyili CHPS.
The Regional Director of Health said the Officer’s demonstration of professionalism, people centeredness and a pure sense of readiness to work was worthy of emulation.
Dr. Kuffuor Afreh mentioned this while speaking at a staff durbar at the Wa West District to crown day one of the tour of health facilities by members of the Governing Council and high ranking officials of the Ghana Health Service.
The Wa West District Director of Health Clifford Veng in his address disclosed that the Wa West District hospital had not recorded and maternal mortality case; a situation they hoped will remain the same throughout the year.
He was however worried about irregular disbursements from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS). He also expressed worry over the absence of critical medical staff in the Wa West District.
“The District is lacking some critical staff; the entire district has only three physician assistants. Radiographer we don’t have, community health nurses are very few, the number has reduced and keeps reducing,” he explained.
The Council is expected to end its regional tours in the Brong Ahafo Region.
Story by Mark Smith