Upper West Regional Director of Health, Dr. Damian Punguyire

Dr. Damien Punguyire, the Upper West Regional Director of Health Services, says the operations of the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) concept in the Upper West Region has been strengthened over the past five to six years.

He attributed that to the successful implementation and the impact of the CHPS For Life project implemented by the Ghana Health Service in the region with funding support from the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Dr. Punguyire said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa on the status of the health service delivery in the region, especially at the community level.

The CHPS For Life project was implemented in the Upper West, Upper East, and Northern Regions to strengthen the health system and operationalisation of the revised CHPS policy and implementation guidelines with a focus on the Life Course Approach (LCA).

He said the intervention had helped scale up the functional CHPS zones in the region from below 70 per cent in 2017 to about 95 per cent in 2022.

He said the Wa West District was the only district in the region that did not have all its CHPS zone function as a result of the vast nature of the district and expressed confidence that the remaining five per cent of non-functional CHPS zones would be functional.

The JICA’s support for the health sector in the Upper West Region began in 2006 aimed to scale up CHPS and improve maternal and newborn health services using the LCA.

Dr. Punguyire said through the project, the service had built a health database of the CHPS compounds in the region, enabling the directorate to target interventions, especially staff and logistics to the districts that needed those most.

“That database is such that if I want to know which district lacks community health nurses, I don’t need to call, I just go into the database, click, and I will know everything.

“If I want to know the availability of functional motorbikes or the availability of water or compounds, I just go into the database, click and that information is available to me”, he explained.

The Health Director said they used the health data generated to engage stakeholders in filling identified gaps for improved service delivery.

Other impacts of the CHPS For Life project were a cost-effective way of training Community Health Officers (CHOs), supply of equipment from the project, and engagement with community members through the health committees among others.

On staffing, he said there were currently enough community health nurses to get all the CHPS zones in the region functional and the project had helped streamline the intervention of the Assemblies in the health sector through the “Health Integrated Action Plan (HIAP)”.

He said with the HIAP, a few priority areas of the sector were selected for the Assemblies to fund which had helped improve the health infrastructure and equipment at the community level.


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