Motivate volunteers to support Chps compounds – Dr Sandaare

The Member of Parliament for Dafiema/Busie/Issa, Dr Sebastian Ngmenenso Sandaare, has called on the government to motivate community based volunteers within the Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPS) zones than turn attention to Senior High School graduates to take up that job.

He said the volunteers who had been part of the CHPS compound structure over the years had gathered enormous experience to be discarded for SHS graduates who lack the experience to effectively engage the communities.

Addressing a news conference in Accra yesterday, Dr Sandaare said if the YEA went ahead to recruit the SHS graduates who were mostly teenagers to take up the job, the successes chalked in community health care delivery could be reversed.

“I don’t see the impact they [SHS graduates] would make because if you look at the CHPS strategy, it is well designed that SHS graduates have no role in it.

“Those working in that space are trained with skills and are supported with community based agents who are volunteers to support the Community Health Officer to deliver services” If they feel they need people who can read and write, these volunteers who include teachers do and have been working in that space for years and have the requisite experience.

“These volunteers have not been motivated for years. They don’t have the needed logistics to work with. No bicycles, no mobile phones among others so if there is any intervention, then we must see how we could motivate already existing community based volunteers to work,” he said.

He held that all the good indicators the country had recorded from the CHPS compound health strategy was partly through the support of the volunteer…”so once you bring in senior high school graduates with a salary structure, it would be unfair to the volunteers and even force them to quit”.

Dr Sandaare’s call follows reports that the YEA was to recruit some 5000 SHS graduates as Community Health Workers to serve at CHPS compounds whiles there were professional nurses waiting to be posted to such facilities.

Chief Executive of the Agency, Kofi Baah Agyapong, however, explained in a meeting with the Ghana Registered Nurses and Midwives Association in Accra on Wednesday that the SHS graduates would not undertake any clinical duties.

“They are not going to administer drugs, give injections or provide bedside care. Rather, they would be sharing mosquito nets and educate the various households on preventable diseases without any contact with patients,” he clarified.

But Dr Sandaare said government’s focus should be how these SHS graduates would further their education and focus on recruiting professionals like nurses to augment the work being done by the volunteers.

“Bear in mind, these are people who are not done with school. The focus should be how to ensure that they have the opportunity to continue their education,” he stated.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

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