Lessons learned from scaling up a community-based health program in the Upper East Region of northern Ghana

  • Awoonor-Williams J
  • Sory E
  • Nyonator F
  • et al.
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Abstract

© Awoonor-Williams et al. Ghana's Community-Based Health Planning and Service (CHPS) initiative is envisioned to be a national program to relocate primary health care services from subdistrict health centers to convenient community locations. The initiative was launched in 4 phases. First, it was piloted in 3 villages to develop appropriate strategies. Second, the approach was tested in a factorial trial, which showed that community-based care could reduce childhood mortality by half in only 3 years. Then, a replication experiment was launched to clarify appropriate activities for implementing the fourth and final phase - national scale up. This paper discusses CHPS progress in the Upper East Region (UER) of Ghana, where the pace of scale up has been much more rapid than in the other 9 regions of the country despite exceedingly challenging economic, ecological, and social circumstances. The UER employed 5 strategies that facilitated scale up: (1) nurse recruitment from their home districts to improve workermorale and cultural grounding, balanced with some social distance from the village community to ensure client confidentiality, particularly regarding family planning use; (2) prioritization of CHPS planning and continuous review in management meetings to make necessary modifications to the initiative's approach; (3) community engagement and advocacy to local politicians to mobilize resources for financing start-up costs; (4) a shared and consistent vision about CHPS among health administration leaders to ensure appropriate resources and commitment to the initiative; and (5) knowledge exchange visits between new and advanced CHPS implementers to facilitate learning and scale up within and between districts.

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APA

Awoonor-Williams, J. K., Sory, E. K., Nyonator, F. K., Phillips, J. F., Wang, C., & Schmitt, M. L. (2013). Lessons learned from scaling up a community-based health program in the Upper East Region of northern Ghana. Global Health: Science and Practice, 1(1), 117–133. https://doi.org/10.9745/ghsp-d-12-00012

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