maandag 3 december 2012

Visit to Connect4Change Health Prgramme Ghana in November 2012

From 8-10 November 2012 Paula Mommers (Cordaid) and Martine Koopman (IICD) visited the Connect4Change Health Programme in the field. Under the Connect4Change Health Programme we support three programmes: PART ME by SEND Foundation, ACDEP 's ICT in Healthcare delivery and CHAG's Using ICT to imrove access and efficiency. We visited on 6th and 7th November the offices of the three programmes in Accra and Tamale, but to see what has happened on the ground we had to make a trip through rural Northern Ghana in three days

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. 

Visit in July 2012 with Edukans to Connect4Change Education Programme in Ghana

In July 2012 Miet Chielens, Herman Kruijer (both Edukans) and Martine Koopman (IICD) visited several educational projects of the Connect4Change Educational Programme. Several short videos were shot with interviews of the school (head)teachers to show the impact of ICT at the schools. The implementation of the programme has started earlier this year. Visits were made to the Vocational School projects implemented by Peps-C and 4 vocational schools in the Upper West of Ghana

From kaleo, we had a drive to Bolgatanga were we visited the Presbyterian Education Unit in Bolgatanga. We visited with them two of their schools that Connect4Change is supporting. One in Bolgatanga

and one in Gambaga.

The last project that we visited was the Yoo JHS in Savelugu. We were lucky because it was also the launch of the HIV/AIDS club at the school and we started the visit with a play from the HIV/AIDS club for the whole school. Afterwards we went to the ICT lab to talk with the (head) teacher and implementing partner Savana Signatures.

After the discussion the teachers showed us their work on the computer, which was impressive after only two weeks training.