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JICA, GHS build capacity of health staff in five regions of the north

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in partnership with the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has taken the initiative to build the capacity of health staff towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and other related health issues.

The initiative was part of the implementation of the CHPS for Life project being implemented by JICA and the GHS targeting Community Health Officers (CHO) from the Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) in all districts across the five regions.

The Wa Municipal Director of Health Services, Dr. Paschal Kingsley Mwin, told the media at a press briefing in Wa on Tuesday that over 1,500 CHO across the five regions – Upper East, Upper West, Savannah, North-East and Northern Regions - had so far been trained.

He said considering the crucial role CHOs played in health service delivery at the community level, it was necessary to build their capacity on infection Prevention Control and risk communication to enable them to operate in a safe environment and to provide right information on COVID-19 to the community members they serve.

“The CHOs are responsible for providing interventions such as: surveillance, health education and immunization amongst others to break the chain of transmission against the spread of COVID-19.

“They live in the communities and are expected to build trust in relating with the community members which predisposes them to possible infection of COVID-19”, Dr. Mwin explained.

He indicated that the two-day training afforded participants the opportunity to be abreast with issues relating to risk communication and social support, screening and training, IPC, contact tracing and psychological support among others.

Responding to a question on whether or not, it was a matter of ‘better late than never’ that the staff were receiving the training after one year of the COVID-19 outbreak, he said the training was to complement an earlier training the region provided to the health staff at the inception of the virus in the country and the region.

The Health Director stressed the need to regularly build the capacities of health service providers to enable them to effectively fight the COVID-19.

He explained that CHPS for Life project, to be implemented from June 2017 to June 2022, was the third face of the governments of Japan and Ghana partnership towards improving healthcare service delivery in Ghana.

“The current project which is the third phase of the technical cooperation is using “life-course”, an approach to access health for all age cohorts by promoting healthy lifestyles and early detection of non-communicable diseases, by building the capacity of health workers such as; CHOs and other health workers to implement the initiative”, Dr. Mwin explained.

He said the project would help improve access to healthcare services at all level, irrespective of the geographical location of the individual through the CHPS and ensure that the community-based health services are consolidated in the five regions of the north.

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