Usaid
USAID


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) sponsored five-year project on Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC), dubbed: “Communicate for Health,” (C4H), has ended with a Lessons Learned Celebration in Accra to announce its official closing.

The 18-million dollar project was implemented since 2014 by FHI 360, an implementing partner, which works alongside government agencies and non-governmental organisations to improve Ghana’s education and health systems, and other sub-partners, and would officially end on November 30, 2019.

It seeks to improve the health and well-being of Ghanaians through a broad range of “above the line” mass media campaigns coupled with intensive capacity building programmes.

Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), in his opening remarks, acknowledged the tremendous support of the USAID, the implementing partners, and all stakeholders for their active involvement in the course of the project to create awareness and promote good health among Ghanaians.

The project, since its inception, had worked with the Government through the GHS and the Health Promotion Division to increase demand and use of key health services and foster healthier behaviours through evidence-based SBCC.

Dr Nsiah-Asare said the project also worked across the areas of Family Planning; Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health; Nutrition; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); Malaria Prevention and Case Management; and HIV and AIDS.

He cited its support in the development of SBCC materials and expanded research in health among various interventions such as the “GoodLife, Live It well” brand; the “Go for It, Go for Malaria Free Pregnancy” campaign; the Maternal Health Channel and the TV megahit YOLO (You Only Live Once) seasons, among others.

Ms Joan Schubert, the Chief of Party, Communicate for Health, USAID, commended all the implementing partners and stakeholders for their commitment towards the success of the project.

Mrs Eleanor Sey, the Acting Director, Health Promotion Division of the GHS, stated that the project had largely achieved its purpose, citing the improvements in message recall reported based on the 2017 and 2018 C4H longitudinal Mobile IVR surveys, Goodlife recording between 61 to 71 per cent; Handwashing 65 to 79 per cent; and Family Planning 58 to 72 per cent.

She said 97 national, regional and district health promotion officers benefited from the Change Agent Development Programme and Set for Change capacity building initiatives.

The project also supported the development and integration of Health Promotion indicators into the Second District Health Integrated Management System, in collaboration with GHS Policy Planning, Management and Evaluation, UNICEF, Evaluate for Health, and Systems for Health.

It further ensured the renovation of the HPD office building at Korle-Bu and co-location of C4H technical staff, and established the National SBCC Resource Centre and e-library, which warehoused hundreds of media materials developed in Ghana over the past 10 years.

Mrs Sey, on Sustainability and GHS ownership of the Project after its closure, said the Health Promotion Division Transition and Sustainability Plan has been updated and was being implemented.

These include GoodLife brand ownership and promotion, the GoodLife Social Media Platform, the National SBCC Resource Centre.

Mr Thaddeus Pennas, representing FHI 360, recounted the initial fear by the implementing partners as to whether the project would achieve its intended objectives regarding the dissemination of SBCC messages.

The successful broadcast of over 77,000 spots and programmes on eight national televisions, eight national and 26 regional radio stations and more than a dozen others in the communities attested to the success of the project.

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