Twenty-four Community Health Officers (CHOs), who are expected to offer basic
health services within the Kintampo North Municipality and the Kintampo South
district, have passed out here.
The CHOs who are graduates of the Kintampo Health Training School will stay
within the various Community-based Health Planning Services (CHPs) compounds
and offer interventions including reducing post-partum hemorrhage (blood
loss) among mothers and also best practices to reduce neonatal deaths (death
of children born less than one month).
The concept of CHPS was started in Navrongo in 1993 under the Community
Health and Family Planning project.
It established that positive health outcomes such as the treatment of simple
ailments are achieved when community health nurses, medical and laboratory
assistants as well as midwives are deployed at the community level.
The inauguration of the CHOs at Kintampo coincided with the donation of 24
motor bicycles by the Kintampo Heatlh Research Centre (KHRC) to the newly
The KHRC is providing fuel and servicing of the motor bicycles for a year in
addition to provision of household appliances such as gas cylinders and
stoves to the CHOs.
Inaugurating the CHOs, Dr Aaron Ofei, the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of
Health Services, reminded them that by this posting to the rural communities
they were taking up a bigger responsibility to help improve the quality of
life of the people.
He urged them to use skills they had acquired in their training to help
prevent deaths, provide good nutrition, safe drinking water and sanitation
among other interventions.
Dr Ofei said the Ghana Health Service (GHS) was determined to deploy large
numbers of CHOs to various parts of the country to improve health delivery at
the community levels.
He said the work of the CHOs would help the GHS to get reliable information
at the lowest level to enhance policy-making.
He commended the KHRC for renovating some buildings that are to be used by
Dr Seth Owusu Agyei, the Director of the KHRC, said research activities by
the centre identified important gaps in the health systems.
He said those gaps became evident from reliable data generated by the KHRC
which was established in the 1990s to undertake research to inform government
Dr Owusu Agyei said even though there is a hospital each in the Kintampo
North Municipality and the Kintampo South District, most communities are very
far from the hospitals, adding that health centres are few not evenly
distributed, and poorly staffed.
He said in the seven districts and municipalities where the KHRC carried out
its core work, Kintampo North and South have the poorest health indices in
terms of maternal, infant and neonatal mortality.
Dr Owusu Agyei explained that this meant health access was not readily
available to community members, stressing that the health of the people could
be significantly improved if community level of health systems were
established with a good spread within the districts.
He said the need to deploy CHOs into CHPS compounds had been on the drawing
board since 1995 and the KHRC was determined to get the system to work rather
than wait for a the provision of classical infrastructure.
Dr Owusu Agyei said efforts have been made by all stakeholders within the
municipality and the district in the past years to help establish the CHPS
and though that had been progressing steadily, there were some challenges in
realising a complete CHPS in the Kintampo North municipality and the Kintampo
He asked the assemblies to support the CHOs with solar power to charge their
mobile phones, store vaccine in fridges and for general lighting.
Mr. Richard Kwasi Henneh, Regional CHPs Coordinator said one of the ways
community members have to address health needs of members is the CHPs
programme whose main aim is to bridge the gap in access to health care
through deployment of trained personnel in communities to provide health care
with the help to the community.
Mr Gabriel Gyinde Mensah, the Presiding Member of the Kintampo North
Municipality, said access to health facilities is a major challenge to
residents of the municipality.
He said assembly intends to provide between 10 and 14 CHPS compounds to
communities under its jurisdiction within the next five years adding that
that the assembly in collaboration with the community- based Rural
Development Project, has constructed four CHPS compounds at Kadelso, Babato
Kuma, Asentekwa and Mansra.
He praised the KHRC for recruiting a large number of the youth, thereby
helping to solve unemployment problem in the area.
Mr Kojo Nyame Datriakwa, the Kintampo South – DCE, hoped the presence of the
CHOs in the rural communities would help to reduce the high incidence of
maternal and child mortality.
He appealed to chiefs, community leaders and individuals, to donate buildings
for the establishment of CHPS compounds in their communities, to ensure
better and improved health.
As part of activities to herald the inauguration ceremony, members of the
African Media and Malaria Network (AMMREN) toured some of the CHPs compounds
in Kabonso in the Kintampo South District and Beniantwe Kadelso and Gulunkpe
in the Kintampo North Municipality.
Community health officers in a group photograph with Dr Aaron Ofei (seated,
third left), Dr Seth Owusu Agyei,) and other dignitaries from the Kintampo
North Municipal and Kintampo South districts.