The lack of adequate trained community health officers and the low number of community health volunteers are frustrating the objectives of the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS), the Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Letsa has observed.
He said that the problems were compounded by the insufficient basic CHPS logistics and equipment such as motor-bikes, blood pressure apparatus, fuel and inadequate CHPS compounds in the island communities.
Dr. Letsa was speaking at a CHPS policy dissemination meeting by various stakeholders at Ho on Thursday, under the theme: “Accelerating the Attainment of Universal Health Coverage and Bridging the Inequity Access Gap.”
The Regional Minister, who is a seasoned medical officer, revealed that there were currently 651 demarcated CHPS zones, 310 functional CHPS zones and 212 CHPS compounds in the region with a total of 508 CHPS staff resident in the zones.
He said that the different interpretations of the CHPS concept by both policy makers and implementers accounted for varying understandings and approach to its operationalisation.
Dr. Letsa, therefore, asked the Ministry of Health, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Community Service organisations and opinion leaders to team up to address the “inadequacies and deficits” in the CHPS programmes to ensure the realisation of its laudable objectives.
“CHPS is the key to universal health coverage and for this reason, it has become a critical component of the health delivery system and all measures must be put in place to sustain it for the benefit of posterity”, he added.
Togbe Kwaku Ayim IV, Paramount Chief of Ziavi Traditional Area, who chaired the opening ceremony, said that the active involvement of traditional authorities was necessary for the success of the CHPS.
“As chiefs, we are ready to work with the health authorities and various organisations in support of CHPS,” he pledged.
From Alberto Mario Noretti, Ho