- On May 28, 2020
By Mohammed Tajudeen
The construction of a Child Welfare Clinic (CWC) has brought joy and excitement to women residing in Kpaneshe, Zulogu, Mandaa, Zetugu, Bogu, Kporo, Nyanteng, Zabagdoo Kuraa, Yepalsi, and other communities in the Gushegu Municipality of the Northern Region.
Before this, nursing mothers endured the discomfort of rain, harmattan or sun because weighing was being carried out under trees. Mothers who wanted better CWC services had to travel several kilometers to Galwie Health Centre.
During the rainy season especially, attendance for CWC was often very low. Violent winds and rains, would occasionally visit them and disrupt the process. Sadly, the main facility did not have enough space to shelter clients during these circumstances, leaving women and their babies at the mercy of the weather.
As part of the USAID funded People for Health (P4H) project goal, to strengthen institutional capacity to support health delivery, Community Health Management Committees (CHMCs) were reconstituted and trained on their roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the Community- Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) in 100 communities. During the training, CHMCs were urged to start self-help projects and were supported to develop action plans. The action plan of Kpanashe CHMC prioritized a structure for CWC, and this was to be done through community mobilization.
ACTION BY KPANASHE CHMC AND OUTCOMES
As a first step, the CHMC opened a bank account. Every household was levied an amount of GH₵ 5 and paid into the dedicated account. By the end of April 2019, they realized over GH₵10,000 and started work on the project. Men, women, youngsters and adults, all contributed during the construction of the CWC. While men served the core of the labor force, women, on the other hand, supported with food and drinking water. Three months later, the project was completed and put to use in June, and CWC services are now at the doorsteps of the people.
Azoya Brutus Akumbabe, a registered community nurse, and in charge of the CHPS facility said postnatal care and other child health services, have risen significantly as a result.
“Previously, the facility recorded an average of 15 clients coming for antenatal and postnatal services. Attendance has now, improved appreciably and the facility records 50 clients or more per each weighing session since July 2019.”
The advocacy actions led by CHMCs in the P4H intervention communities prove that strengthening local level structures and empowering communities is key to improving health infrastructure and better service delivery outcomes at the local levels.