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01.04.2007 General News

USAID assists in rural health care delivery


The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated 60 sets of medical equipment worth 460,000 dollars to the Ministry of Health to help provide quality health care delivery to rural communities.

The equipment included solar vaccine fridges, sterilizers, delivery and suturing set, resuscitators, weighing scales, stethoscopes and sphygmomanometers.

Ms Sharon L. Cromer, Mission Director of USAID in Ghana, said 60 communities, which are spread across 30 project districts in seven southern regions of Ghana, were to benefit from the equipment.
She said the presentation was part of bilateral cooperation between the United States and Ghana to improve Ghana's health care delivery system.

Ms Cromer said the presentation would assist the ministry to implement the country's Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) initiative.

"Today's presentation will further assist the ministry to strengthen and improve the largest community-based health service delivery programme in Ghana," she noted.

Sharon Cromer noted that USAID was supporting the development of CHPS with a total grant of 12 million dollars through which radio communication equipment had been installed in five districts to improve communication and referral of patients to better equipped and resourced health facilities.

She explained that CHPS was part of government of Ghana's Poverty Reduction Strategy II designed to increase access to health care, particularly in underserved areas where patients had to travel long distances to the nearest health facility.

"USAID is proud to be associated with this effort to reduce geographical barriers to health care. The CHPS approach is critical in attaining quality health care for all," she added.

USAID would work with the Ministry of Health, Ghana Health Service and other development partners to expand service delivery to include non-governmental organizations and community groups.

She expressed the hope that the donation would meet the minimum equipment needs of the beneficiary communities to expand the scope of services delivered by the community health officers and also improve the quality of health care.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Samuel Owusu-Agyei, said the Ministry was very grateful for the support the USAID had been giving to the country in terms of its Community-based Health Services.

He said the 128 motorbikes and 224 bicycles donated by USAID had helped to increase the mobility of community health officers in delivering health service to deprived communities.

"The ministry is particularly grateful to you for the donation of condoms worth one million dollars only four days ago," he said.

Mr Owusu-Agyei assured USAID of fair distribution of the equipment and appealed to the beneficiary community health compounds to ensure the effective and efficient use of the equipment as well as their maintenance.

Source: GNA