The Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) programme in Ghana has been successfully delivering universal access to health promotion, prevention and basic curative care in rural districts using community-based nurses known as Community Health Officers (CHOs) and volunteers. This has led to reduction and decline in childhood mortality and unplanned births. However, despite government policy to scale-up CHPS nationally, it has been challenging to ensure these benefits extend to the slum and peri-urban communities, which are characterised by poor infrastructure, over-crowding and unsanitary conditions with increased exposure to both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Ensuring appropriate, quality service delivery to households will improve timely suitable care and reduce vulnerability to expensive and inappropriate care delivered through a plethora of unregulated providers.
Therefore, the Ghana Health Service with its CHPS program is collaborating with the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons to adapt the CHPS using participatory action research methods to engage community health officers and volunteers, and urban poor communities in understanding their social structures, needs, health-seeking and health insurance behaviour. This engagement will inform the development of system-wide approaches that synergistically address human resource skills, service delivery, access and community engagement to ensure CHPS becomes an effective, scale-able and sustainable component of the urban health system in Ghana.
Our project is part of the Urbanisation and Health Network which brings together researchers from across departments and disciplines working on urbanisation and its impacts on health. Please go to the Urbanisation and Health Network page to see upcoming events and members.