The overall performance of the Greater Accra Region (GAR) dropped from its previous ranking as a highly performing region, to a moderately accomplishing one.
A Regional Assessment Report for the Greater Accra Region (GAR) using the Ghana Health Service’s (GHS) Holistic Assessment Tool, rated the region within the second highest quintile, with the objective score indicating a moderately performance and assigned the colour light green.
Dr Charity Sarpong, the Regional Director of Health Services, said the GAR was in 2017 rated as the overall best and assigned the colour deep green indicating a high performance, but it was sad that it lost its status due to a number of challenges.
She urged all health staff not to be discouraged, but to be motivated by the summery of key regional strengths that were identified and highlighted in the Report, and rather go back and work harder to attain the desired objectives.
She thanked the Western Regional Team for comprehensive and holistic assessment of the health of the GAR.
Dr Atsu Dodor, a Deputy Director for Clinical Care, who was also the Lead Assessor of the Western Regional Team, gave highlights of the Report and a summary of weaknesses that needed to be addressed.
He mentioned some of the weakness identified as the concentration of health facilities and staff in Accra Metropolis, socio-cultural and religious beliefs and practices that affected adherence to prescribed medicines at Ante-Natal Clinics and also skilled delivery.
Other weaknesses such as the absence of a Policy on screening for Hypertension and Diabetes, late referrals and case management at facilities, as well as challenges with Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Quasi-Government and some private facilities not reporting into District Health Information Management System, (DHIMS), contributed to the regression in the record outcomes.
Dr Dodor said there were also issues with cause of death certification and data entry, also the lack of vehicles for monitoring, framework contract-affecting tracer medicine availability, as well as the non-release and inability to access of the Government of Ghana budget.
He however, gave key summary of the Region’s strengths as the formation of partnerships with institutions such as the One Ghana Cedi Project, Ghana Post, and the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital among others, Collection of Family Planning data from private facilities and pharmacies, and the institution of home visits and community pregnancy schools.
Dr Dodor also cited the institution of the maternal death auditing and the Hospital Peer Review exercise as a great initiative, as well as the high health facility density in the Region as an added advantage to ensuring Universal Health Coverage and consequently the Sustainable Development Goals.
Dr Anthony Nsiah-Asare, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service thanked all the staff of the Service for their hard work and dedication, and urged them to accept the challenges as learning points to get to the top.