Monitoring and Management Committees in the Health and Education facilities under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Diocese of Navrongo-Bolgatanga have been trained as part of efforts to ensure community participation and quality service delivery.
The community-level training, under the Good Governance, Justice and Peace Directorate, is to train the committees in 11 health facilities and 20 schools within the diocese.
The project, with funding from the Hungary Helps Programme, is aimed at empowering the committees with knowledge and skills to act as citizens monitoring groups and a linkage between the facilities and their respective communities for effective collaboration and improved service delivery.
Each Committee comprises major stakeholders in the community including the chief, leaders of women and youth groups, assembly members and staff of the facility, among others and they are to monitor, track and demand quality service from the facilities and report to the communities on the happenings at the facilities.
Addressing members of the health committee at St Patrick Health Centre, Wulugu, Mr Joseph Bangu, the Director of Good Governance, Justice and Peace, explained that the Hungary Helps Programme was a collective approach aimed at increasing and strengthening the infrastructure base in health and education and service delivery through advocacy and capacity building.
He said the facility committees training which was a step-down approach would empower the major stakeholders in the various communities to work with the management of the health and school facilities and the beneficiary communities to enhance service delivery and effective collaboration.
The Director explained that the citizens’ monitoring groups would use a scorecard to rank the performance of the facilities, identify service delivery gaps and the results would be used to engage policy makers to address challenges to quality education and healthcare, especially maternal and child health.
“The Committee’s main function will be to periodically come and track the reimbursement of NHIS claims, number of beds, safe deliveries, and state of the structure, among other essential services so that at the end of it we collectively sit down and see how the facility is performing,” he added.
Mr Bangu said the project was on a pilot basis for a year and plans were in place to scale it up to some public institutions and added that the Catholic Church was providing access to health and education opportunities to rural dwellers.
Mr Peter Akudugu Ayamba, the Primary Healthcare Coordinator of the Diocesan Health Services, noted that NABODCADO and its partners had over the years contributed to improving health care delivery within the diocese, especially in rural communities.
“If you look at the location of the health facilities, you would realize that we are not there to compete with Ghana Health Service but we are complementing government’s effort at providing essential services to hard-to-reach communities,” he stated.
Reverend Samuel Ngumah and Mr Theophilus Abolga, facilitators of the training, urged members of the committees to avoid partisan politics and work to enhance the wellbeing of their people.
Mr Bismarck Adu-Agyapong, the Health Promotion Officer, Ghana Health Service, West Mamprusi Municipality lauded NABOCADO and Hungary Helps Programme for the training and said it would build a cordial relationship between members of the communities and the service providers.