The Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana (PPAG), with support from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan) through the Japanese Organization for International Cooperation in Family Planning (JOICFP) from 2013 - 2016 implemented an innovative four-year maternal health project in the Kwahu East District of the Eastern region of Ghana.
The project was aimed at complementing the government’s efforts to adequately respond to the maternal health needs of women in Kwahu East, specifically in the following locations: Kotoso, Bonkrase, Aguadzekrom, Sempoa and Hyewohoden.
Strategies that PPAG used to Enhance Success
Some of the approaches that PPAG employed to enhance the project’s success included:
- Establishment of Strong Partnerships
At the start of the project, PPAG identified partners to collaborate with to ensure success. Some of these partners included: The District Directorate of Ghana Health Service (GHS), Kwahu East District Assembly, the Traditional Council and different community members. All these partners brought in their different strengths, which worked to the advantage of the project.
- Formation of a Management Committee
For better coordination and delivery of results, a management committee was formed for purposes of providing an oversight responsibility for the management of the health facilities. These responsibilities were undertaken with the guidance of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
Members of the committee included: a representative from the District Director of Health (Chairperson), the PPAG head office (SMT), PPAG middle zone, Head of facility (PPAG staff - Secretary), Head of technical staff of the clinic (Physician Assistant from Ghana Health Service), Midwife of the facility (GHS), Disease Control Officer, Head of Community Health Nurses, Assembly member of the area, representative from the traditional council and a representative from JOICFP.
The main functions of the committee were:
- Authorization of activities
- Formulation of policies
- Performance tracking
- Programmatic decision making
- Contribution by Partners
The partners had complementary roles to play as stipulated in the MoU, as outlined below:
- PPAG coordinated the project
- JOICFP provided the needed financial support, supply of clinical equipment and capacity development
- The Traditional Council provided land at no cost for the construction of the facilities
- All engineering works were carried out by the District Assembly. These included: access to water, electricity and accommodation for some key staff (this facilitated a 24-hour running of the clinic).
- Ghana Health Service (GHS) provided technical staff to manage the facilities
- Community members were used as implementers. These were Community-Based Service agents who educated the public on different aspects of sexual reproductive health and who also provided some level of services, such as provision of contraceptives like condoms and oral pills.
The community-based agents also made timely referrals to health facilities on a need basis. They further mobilized members of the community during outreach activities and provided reproductive health information messages through film shows and drama performances. Reproductive health services were provided during these outreaches, hence worked in bringing health services closer to the community.
A comprehensive sustainability plan was put in place to ensure continuity with respect to activity implementation and partnership.
During the project the below achievements were recorded:
- The construction of five health facilities
- The construction of one clinic and four Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in the surrounding communities
- 52,486 reproductive health services had been provided as at July 2016
- The average monthly family planning acceptor rate stood at 13
- 23,815 clients received modern contraceptives from April 2013 - June 2016.
- 39,233 child welfare services were provided
- 9,949 ante-natal services had been provided
- 903 women had delivered under the care of skilled health workers
PPAG's collaboration with partners in the success of this maternal health project was identified as one of FPAM’s Good Practices during the 3rd Cycle of Accreditation. A Good Practice is an activity or practice that has been proven to work and yields positive results. The sharing of Good Practices by IPPF Member Associations offers learning experiences for their counterparts.
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