Community Health Officers in Garu and Tempane upgrade skills

Garu (U/E), Sept. 05, GNA – A total of 50 Community Health Officers in the Garu and Tempane Districts of the Upper East Region have been given five weeks of training to upgrade their skills and knowledge.

The training covered both theory and practical sessions in communities within the two Districts with the sole aim to improve quality health service delivery at the Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds.

The training, organised by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), benefited 22 Community Health Nurses (CHNs) in the Garu District while 28 were trained in the Tempane District under the NGO’s Rural Emergency Health Service and Transport for System Development (REST4D) Project.

It was funded by the Helmsley Charitable Trust and implemented in some selected Districts across the Upper East, North-East, Savannah and Northern Regions as part of efforts by CRS to improve the functionality of CHPS compounds in the beneficiary Districts.

At a ceremony to outdoor the trained CHOs at Garu, Alhaji Haliq Adam, the Programmes Officer of CRS, said the NGO recognised the gap in basic health care delivery at the CHPS compounds, noting that as government could not tackle all challenges, the NGO collaborated with the GHS to train the Officers to bridge the gap.

“This is just a part of a larger effort which started long ago with CHPS stakeholder engagement at the Regional level and the training of Council of Champions on the CHPS policies and further orientated Community Health Management Committees in the CHPS zones.”

Alhaji Adam disclosed that CRS invested about GH¢75,000.00 into the training of the Officers in the two Districts, and was hopeful that the resources invested would not be in vain, but help improve maternal and child health outcomes in the various CHPS facilities in the beneficiary Districts.

“It is our hope that the CHPS zones are able to get improved care and services with this training, and that the frontline health workers in these facilities would have improved knowledge and skills to be able to support the CHPS facilities,”

Mr Hypolite Yeleduor, the Garu District Director of the GHS, commended CRS for the initiative, and said the training would beef up the number of CHOs, in the various CHPS zones which currently had one CHO per zone.

He noted that CHPS was the foundation of health service delivery, and the District had only three Health Centres with a total of 33 CHPS compounds.

He said plans were underway to upgrade some of the CHPS compounds to Health Centre status, with the aim to create one Health Centre in each subdistrict.

The District Director at Tempane, Mr Eugene Osei Yeboah on his part, said the training had equipped the CHNs with additional skills and knowledge for improved community engagements to identify health challenges and liaise with members of the community to solve identified health problems.

“For instance, during the training, some of the CHNs indicated that there were some cultural practices within their zones that affect service. An example is home deliveries, it is a cultural practice that prevents women from delivering at the health facilities.

Mr Blankson Aobiliya, a participant, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview after the ceremony that the farming season had affected their visits to families in the communities, “So sometimes we have to wait until 1800hours or 1900hours when they return from their farms, and are relaxed before we get to engage them.”

All 50 participants were awarded certificates of participation.

Source: Ghana News Agency