The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Friday donated 1,000 bicycles and 1,000 carrier bags equipped with essential health supplies to the Ministry of Health (MoH) to facilitate the work of the Ministry's community health volunteers.
The supplies in the bags included insecticide-treated bed nets, family planning commodities, counselling cards and oral rehydration salt (ORS) to be distributed in the 30 USAID project districts in the seven southern regions of Ghana, which falls under a five year cooperative agreement signed between MOH through the Population Council and USAID in 2004.
The donation directly goes to support the Ministry's Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) project which USAID was supporting through the CHPS Technical Assistance Project (CHPS-TA) with a grant of 15.5 million dollars.
Mr. David Attebery, Mission Director, USAID said the equipment was part of USA's bilateral commitment to improve the health status of Ghanaians, especially basic health care in rural underserved communities where health facilities were far apart and most people had to travel long distances to the nearest health facility.
“With this impressive community ownership and USAID support, we are witnessing an ever-increasing number of women, children and men in rural population seeking treatment with the community health officer. Volunteers are visiting homes, educating families about malaria prevention and environmental sanitation, Mr Atteberry noted.
He expressed the hope the donation would help improve mobility of volunteers to effectively deliver basic health care services to deprived communities.
Health Minister, Major Courage Quashigah (Rtd) urged district directors of health to implement the planned preventive maintenance programme of the Ministry to ensure regular maintenance of the bicycles and motorcycles.
“This is the only way we can ensure that the donation would continue to be beneficial to the people of Ghana”, he said.