A philanthropist, Jenn Gross through the Advisor to the UN General-Secretary, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, 1mCHW and the Millennium Promise Alliance, has donated 6,000 smartphones to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo at this year’s International Conference on Sustainable Development in New York.
The smartphones are to support the Ghana Health Service (GHS); Youth Employment Agency (YEA) led Community Health Workers (CHWs) Initiative.
The UN and the AU are impressed with the scale up of Ghana’s Community Health Workers Initiative in strengthening Ghana’s Flagship Primary Healthcare strategy Community Based Planning and Services (CHPS) hence the donation from the philanthropist to further strengthen it.
The AU has at the last sitting in Addis Ababa, through Ghana’s exemplary leadership in the Community Health rollout, adapted the initiative and launched a two million Community Health Workers Initiative to accelerate the drive towards Universal Health Coverage and ending the 90-90-90 epidemic globally.
The 1mCHW Campaign is a global campaign launched in 2013 at the World Economic Forum and endorsed by the African Union (AU) the same year.
The mission of the Campaign is to accelerate the attainment of universal health coverage in rural sub-Saharan Africa by supporting governments and international partners, UN agencies, and national stakeholders dedicated to community health worker scale-up in the context of health systems strengthening.
The Government of Ghana through the Youth Employment Agency, the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Services worked with the 1mCHW Global Campaign to recruit, train and deploy 20,000 CHWs and 1,000 e-health Technical Assistants (eTAs) across all the 216 districts of the country.
Seven districts in Ashanti Region were selected as the national demonstration site to establish the scientific basis for the efficiency and effectiveness of this incentivized, professionalized eHealth-enabled CHW Program in strengthening Ghana’s primary health care systems and improving access to health care.
These trained CHWs visit households on regular basis for health promotion and education on environmental sanitation, immunization, family planning, ante-natal care, exclusive breastfeeding, nutrition among others using smartphones to report on their findings to their supervisors, the Community Health Officers, at the respective CHPS and health centers for care.
They actively search for disease conditions such as malnutrition, malaria and diarrhoea, and with the aid of the smart phones, refer them to a health facility for advice on how to diagnose the disease condition.
President Akufo-Addo receiving the smartphones thanked Miss Gross, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs and the Millennium Promise Alliance represented by Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko for showcasing Ghana once again on the globe and contributing to strengthening Ghana’s Primary Healthcare.
He added that the success of the Community Health Workers Initiative is indeed pioneering and worth sharing.
He was optimistic that the smartphones, an ICT-driven initiative introduced to support the work of the CHWs, will help save lives in rural communities of Ghana where access to quality health care has been a challenge of successive governments.
President Akufo-Addo was accompanied by the Director of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Director Family Health Division of GHS, Dr. Patrick Aboagye, Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Otiko Afisa Djaba, deputy Chief of Staff, Abu Jinapor, the Executive Secretary to the President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, CEO of YEA, Justin Kodua, and the Board Chairman of the YEA, Sammy Awuku.