JICA assists in health care delivery in Upper
Wa, Feb. 17, Ghanadot/GNA – Health care delivery in the
Upper West Region has improved tremendously, especially
in the areas of maternal and child health care.
The achievement had been made possible through the
Japanese government interventions under its Programme of
“Improving the Health Status of People Living in Upper
The Programme is aimed at improving access to quality
basic health services under the concept of “Human
Security and Capacity Development” to help address the
high maternal and child mortality rates that the region
was recording annually.
The Upper West Region has the highest number of
mortality rate of children “under five years” with a
ratio of 208 deaths per 1000 births. It recorded 19
maternal deaths in 2008 as against 29 in 2007.
The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA),
which has been implementing the Programme with technical
assistance, had helped in training 140 Community Health
Officers to upgrade their knowledge and skills on mother
and child care at the Community Health-based Planning
and Services (CHPS) level.
Mr Takaharu Ikeda, Programme Management Specialists of
JICA, in an interview with the GNA, said the goal of
“this technical cooperation project” is to increase the
coverage of functional CHPS in the region.
It is also to strengthen the institutional capacity of
Ghana Health Service on GHPS implementation.
Mr Ikeda said 80 staff members of the Regional Health
Management and 160 from the District Health Management
Teams, including the Sub-district Health Management team
had been trained to upgrade their knowledge and skills
to manage CHPS.
“They have also been trained on enhancing supervision,
strengthening referral systems and improved community
participation in disseminating best practices for
He said JICA has also provided some basic logistics,
such as medical equipment and motorbikes to the 64 old
health facilities and the six hospitals as well as four
ambulances to some of the deprived districts to improve
referral of patients.
The ambulances were supplied with assistance from a
Japanese Grant Aid Scheme while it also provided
equipment to improve the capacities of the regional
hospital and the district hospitals to carry out
comprehensive obstetric care.
“A need assessment survey had also been carried out in
health facilities to respond to the further needs of
equipment supply”, Mr. Ikeda said.
He said eight Japanese volunteers with expertise in
nursing, nutrition, public health, Information,
education and communication (IEC) and community
development have been dispatched to the region with a
strong linkage to the technical cooperation project.
“Notwithstanding the numerous constraints such as human
resource, compound constructions and logistics, some
progress has been made”, Mr Ikeda said.
“Collaboration with other development partners in the
region is stronger now. Some communities have
experienced participatory learning approaches and
manifested strong commitment for community health”, he