USA Increases Access to Health Services to Volta Region Island Communities through Boat Handover

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AKOSOMBO, Ghana

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Ghana Mission Director, Sharon Cromer together with the Honorable Deputy Minister of Health, Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu have handed over a 25 seater boat to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) which will increase access to health services to the Island communities in the Volta area.

The US funded project will support primary health care service delivery in Ghana including maternal and child health services through the Community-based Health and Planning Services (CHPS) model.

The boat will provide life-saving services to historically hard-to-reach island communities by improving access to health care for 141 island communities in Kpando, Krachi West and Biakoye districts.

According to USAID, Health care workers will be able to deliver services to island communities and transfer patients to health facilities on the mainland when referrals are required.

The boat it noted, will also deliver essential health commodities, support health-related immunization campaigns, and provide disaster relief on the islands.

In her remarks, Cromer urged community members to be active participants in health services.

Shesaid: “Ultimately, the success of CHPS is rooted in community ownership andself-reliance. It is the responsibility of every citizen to be engaged in CHPSservices.  This includes the upkeep of the boat and the maintenance of theCHPS compound where you access care.”

The boat was locally made with a secure structural design to withstand the conditions of Lake Volta.

It is also equipped with comfortable seating, two washrooms, medical supplies, and radio transmitter and receiver as well as safety features such as navigation lights and life jackets.

The first of its kind in Ghana, this vessel will serve as a blueprint for the manufacture of future medical boats in the country.

High-level members of both the GHS and Volta Regional ministry joined chiefs and community members from Kpando, Krachi West and Biakoye districts to commemorate the occasion.