Dr. Nicholas Kanlisi, Rep of Columbia University (second from right) hands over keys of the seven cars to Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director General (DG) of Ghana Health Service (third from right). Looking on are Dr. Gloria Quansah, Deputy DG and Dr. Koku Awoonor Director PPME
Dr. Nicholas Kanlisi, Rep of Columbia University (second from right) hands over keys of the seven cars to Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director General (DG) of Ghana Health Service (third from right). Looking on are Dr. Gloria Quansah, Deputy DG and Dr. Koku Awoonor Director PPME

The Ghana Health Service has taken delivery of seven brand-new Standard Toyota Hilux Double Cabin Pick-ups to support the implementation of the National Program for Strengthening the Implementation of the Community-based Health Planning and Services Program (CHPS) dubbed CHPS+ initiative in Ghana.

The CHPS+ project is funded with a grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to Columbia University and implemented by the Ghana Health Service in partnership with the University of Ghana Regional Institute of Population Studies (RIPS), University of Development Studies (UDS), and University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS).

Speaking at a ceremony to handover the vehicles, a Representative of Columbia University on the CHPS+ project in Ghana Dr. Nicholas Kanlisi said the vehicles have been provided to boost the project implementation activities through monitoring and supportive supervision by the national, regional and district implementation teams.

Receiving the keys to the vehicles, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare expressed joy for the support and said the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Health is seeking measures to double its effort towards the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 of “ensuring healthy lives and promotion of wellbeing for all at all ages” including reducing maternal and child deaths as well as other premature deaths.

He said as a country, “it is uplifting to have the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Columbia University showing their commitment to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by coming onboard to support the scale up of CHPS implementation and to further boost our efforts to achieve UHC”.

Dr. Nsiah-Asare disclosed that the CHPS+ initiative draws upon the lessons from a similar health system-strengthening program known as the Ghana Essential Health Intervention Program (GEHIP) which was piloted in the Upper East Region in 2010. The project aims therefore to test the transfer of GEHIP strategies to four districts in two regions namely Gushiegu and Kumbungu Districts in Northern Region and Nkwanta South and Central Tongu in Volta Region. Each of the four implementation districts also called System Learning Districts (SLDs) will receive a vehicle as well as the two Regional Health Directorates. The seventh vehicle will goes to the headquarters of the Ghana Health Service for monitoring to the regions.

The Director-General urged the beneficiaries to put the vehicles to good use so as to contribute towards the objectives of the project and the goal of the Ghana Health service. “The vehicles are provided for the purpose of ensuring the effective delivery of the project thus ensuring effective service delivery….the vehicles should not under any circumstance become personal vehicles thereby depriving the districts and project of their use” he stated. He entreated the managers to ensure the safety and regular maintenance of the vehicles and cautioned that he will personally monitor how they are used.

Dr. Nsiah-Asare went on to thank Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Columbia University, UNICEF, the Principal and Co-Principal Investigators of the project and the implementation teams for their commitment.

The Director Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Division of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Koku Awoonor, who is the Principal Investigator of CHPS+ Project said the core interventions of CHPS+ would be grounded in implementation research and capacity building of health staff. He said this would lead to increased knowledge and decision making by the health staff as well as increased and strengthened health workforce. The ultimate goal according to Dr. Awoonor is to increase service coverage and quality in the districts leading to improved population health. “We want these districts to become centres of excellence for primary health care services delivery. We will therefore be vigorously assessing the six CHPS implementation milestones and the fifteen steps as well as other processes for rapid CHPS scale up, foster leadership and capacity building with relevant training institutions as well as universities partnership learning platform for drive and direction in CHPS implementation” he said.

Speaking on behalf of the two CHPS+ implementation regions, the Volta Regional Director of Health Service Dr. Timothy Letsa said the vehicles constitute very important support to facilitate the delivery of the project and other health activities. Dr. Letsa thanked the Director General and the donors and appealed for more support to boost the delivery of health care services across the country.

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