The first project to visit is PART ME of Send Foundation. This innovative project for participatory monitoring and evaluation (PartMe) is an ICT for development project that uses technology to facilitate data collection and information dissemination between SEND-Ghana, its grassroots partners and policy makers on the NHIS and other pro-poor policies.
We visited on 8th November the Savelugu District Citizen's Monitoring Committee, one of the 50 DCMC's with which SEND Foundation has initiated to monitor at grassroot level the pro-poor policies like access to National Health Insurance, Spending of funds under the Common Fund and effectiveness of free maternal care.
Each DCMC conducts of 11 representatives of Civil Society to give the poor a voice.
Next stop was a project under ACDEP's Community health Care project. We visited the Catholic Family Reproductive Health Project in WaleWale were they visit communities with their mobile cinema to share information about family planning and reproductive health issues. They also are actively involved in the mobile reproductive health project to provide peer educators in schools from information via sms to share with their peers.
Third stop of the day was at Wiaga. At St Lucas clinic, Andy the ICT focal person showed us the progress in the implementation of the Hospital Management Information System HAMS.
After an overnight stop at Bolgatanga we left early for a visit of the Bawku Nursing Training College at Bawku part of the CHAG Connect4Change programme.
In the week before our visit, the school had suffered a fire in the computerlab. The principal explained what has happened in the video.'
After the visit to Bawku we went to the ACDEP supported clinic at Garu. The ICT programme has a focus on Reproductive Health and improving communication with Traditional Birth attendance to improve maternal care in rural Ghana. The team at the clinic is also looking into using ICT to improve the data collection and information management at the clinic. One of the staff has developed a small database to trace paper patient records easily in the archive when patients forgot thei id card. With name and community they are able to trace the NHIS number to trace the folder. This avoids double patient records, but they hope to move to an electronic patient record in 2013.
From Garu we had a very bad road via Napkanduri over the escarpent, Bunkperugu and after crossing a river before Chereponi our ventilator blade broke off and punctured the radiotor. Our driver was able to temporary fix it with soap to reach the next town.
The next morning there was also no breakfast. The girl who would prepare it was at the hospital and the boy who was cleaning thought it was not his task. But the price of € 5 for a room shows the lack of service as well (what else to expect for such a cheap room).
The car still needed to be fixed, so we cancelled our visit to Salaga and had one more visit at the Saboba hospital, a CHAG supported project where Mark showed us around. There was no power (in the whole of Northern Ghana that day!) so we spoke to all staff at the Out Patient department where all departments (records room, cash office, consultant, lab, pharmacy) are already using the HMIS and the In patient ward don't use the HMIS yet, but they already use the PC's to watch videos for example at the children's ward they watch cases of asthma and meningitis to update their knowledge.
All together a very useful overview of the progress made since my last visit a year ago.