The status of ghanaian community health workers’ supervision and service delivery: Descriptive analyses from the 2017 performance monitoring and accountability 2020 survey

Dan Schwarz*, June Ho Kim, Hannah Ratcliffe, Griffith Bell, John Koku Awoonor-Williams, Belinda Nimako, Easmon Otupiri, Stuart Lipsitz, Lisa Hirschhorn, Asaf Bitton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Community-based services are a critical component of high-quality primary healthcare. Ghana formally launched the National Community Health Worker (CHW) program in 2014, to augment the pre-existing Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS). To date, however, there is scant data about the program’s implementation. We describe the current supervision and service delivery status of CHWs throughout the country. Methods: Data were collected regarding CHW supervision and service delivery during the 2017 round of the Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 survey. Descriptive analyses were performed by facility type, supervisor type, service delivery type, and regional distribution. Results: Over 80% of CHWs had at least monthly supervision interactions, but there was variability in the frequency of interactions. Frequency of supervision interactions did not vary by facility or supervisor type. The types of services delivered by CHWs varied greatly by facility type and region. Community mobilization, health education, and outreach for loss-to-follow-up were delivered by over three quarters of CHWs, while mental health counseling and postnatal care are provided by fewer than mental health counseling and postnatal care are provided by fewer than one third of CHWs. The Western region and Greater Accra had especially low rates of CHW service provision. Non-communicable disease treatment, which is not included in the national guidelines, was reportedly provided by some CHWs in nine out of ten regions. Conclusions: Overall, this study demonstrates variability in supervision frequency and CHW activities. A high proportion of CHWs already meet the expected frequency of supervision. Meanwhile, there are substantial differences by region of CHW service provision, which requires further research, particularly on novel CHW services such as non-communicable disease treatment. While there are important limitations to these data, these findings can be instructive for Ghanaian policymakers and implementers to target improvement initiatives for community-based services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1468
JournalGates Open Research
Volume3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • CHPS
  • Community health workers
  • Ghana
  • Primary health care
  • Universal health coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Immunology and Microbiology (miscellaneous)

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