One Million Community Health Workers

One Million Community Health Workers

The Ghana Technical Advisory Group Visits NYC!

Happy New Year! The Campaign was delighted to close out 2014 with a memorable visit from four delegates of the Ghana Ministry of Health (MOH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS) who serve as members of the Ghana CHW Program Technical Advisory Group (TAG). We were thrilled to host the Deputy Director of Human Resources of the Ghana Ministry of Health, the Director of Human Resources of the Ghana Health Service, the Regional Health Director of the Ashanti Region, and a local consultant to the Ministry of Health. These delegates were nominated by the TAG to make the trip to New York City for three jam-packed days of deliberations, brainstorming, and work planning with Professor Jeffrey Sachs and the Campaign team.

Ghana's TAG and the 1mCHW Campaign Team

Ghana’s TAG and the 1mCHW Campaign Team

The visit provided a prime opportunity for closed door brainstorming sessions between the TAG members, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, and the Campaign team to strategize and plan for beginning implementation of Ghana’s national CHW Program in 2015. The key outcomes of this meeting included selecting a location for program rollout and finalizing the number of CHWs to be trained in the upcoming year. The TAG representatives selected the Ashanti Region, the most populous of Ghana’s ten regions, as the start-up region. The Ashanti Regional Health Director led the delegation in the prioritization and selection of six districts within which to roll-out out the program in 2015: Sekyere Kumawi, Bosome Freho, Amansie West, Amansie Central, Sekyere Central, and Ejura Sekyereduamasi. It was decided that 1,000 CHWs would be trained and deployed to cover these six districts, which comprise approximately 564,658 people.

Following the brainstorming session were days of planning sessions to guide the development of a strategic work plan for the year ahead. Discussions were held on devising an advocacy and communications strategy, operationalizing a strategy for supply chain management, the role of mobile health technology in strengthening district health information systems, and lastly, fundraising strategies to ensure the program’s sustainability and subsequent scale-up. The team also worked together to outline goals for a research project that will rigorously monitor and assess the program’s impact. The 2015 work plan intends to operationalize the key components set forth in Ghana’s CHW Roadmap, which was completed in April of 2014.

The trip, along with our relationship with the MOH and GHS, was sealed with the finalization of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Earth Institute and the Ghana Ministry of Health. Completion of this document represents the steadfast commitment of both the Ghanaian government and the Earth Institute to this laudable initiative. The MOU symbolizes a newly strengthened and committed relationship between the Campaign and the Government of Ghana that is built on a foundation of trust, dependability, and a determination to succeed.

For our Field Specialist Amy – who has provided in-country support to the Ghana CHW Program since July – the TAG’s visit to New York City was an exciting culmination of a year’s hard work and the start of a new chapter. In addition to providing technical support, much of Amy’s work in Ghana was focused on both inter-governmental and inter-agency advocacy. She helped connect the TAG to potential partners and donors and facilitated numerous meetings to prepare the grounds for program rollout. Over the course of several months, Amy worked with the TAG to continually refine the CHW concept to suit the Ghanaian context and incorporate feedback from partners. These efforts built a strong foundation for Ghana’s CHW Program, and with a concrete work plan now in development, Amy and the team are thrilled to shift gears toward the implementation phase in Ashanti.

The Campaign is excited to hit the ground running in this new year, and we are sure it will be a great one for Ghana!

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