The Ghana Health Service in collaboration with the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) and ImCHWs Campaign of Millennium Promise Alliance (MPA) will soon recruit the next batch of Community Health Workers (CHWs) after the exit of 20,000 of these workers who have successfully completed the two-year cycle program, understands.

Officials from the GHS and YEA say the decision to recruit the next batch of CHWs as soon as possible is to help sustain the gains made by these workers who on daily basis work at the CHPS zone level to support household visitations, community mobilization and sensitization and community-based surveillance among others using eHealth tools.

Dr. Margaret Chebere, Director, Human Resource Division, Ghana Health Service, who is so passionate about the rate of work done by the CHWs said Ghana cannot sit idle and watch the gains made by these workers to be derailed.

She said the country is on the verge of attaining the universal health coverage mark and the impact made by the CHWs is a clear demonstration that its sustenance will contribute immensely towards achieving that goal.

Dr. Chebere was speaking at an event organized by the 1mCHWs Campaign of Millennium Promise Alliance, GHS and the YEA, to award the CHWs who completed basic health training with certificate of participation and have served the two-year full period of their engagement.

The event which was held at the Miklin Hotel, Kumasi, on Thursday, October 4, 2018, was to also acknowledge and award key dignitaries whose efforts gave birth to the National CHWs program.

In addition to that, it was also to advocate for prioritization of the CHW program in the next phase of the YEA program design.

Dr. Awudzie Yeboah, Deputy Ashanti Regional Director of Health, GHS, commenting on the program said the introduction of the CHWs has helped to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity as well as measles and some other diseases from the country and therefore its sustenance is vital in the country’s health sector.

“You cannot compare the work of the Community Health Workers. We’ve been getting good results from these CHWs. It is our hope that their successors will build on the legacy left behind by these outgoing CHWs”, he noted.

Chris Arthur, Director, Monitoring & Evaluation, YEA, Accra, on his part lauded the leadership of the state agency for making the CHWs project a priority by ensuring that fund were secured to pay the beneficiaries to enable them carry out their mandate effectively.

“We inherited 19,600 recruited CHWs in 2016. For some reasons, some were not paid. But when we took over, we were able to raise funds for the beneficiaries to be paid because of the importance we attach to the program”, he posited.

Commenting further, he appealed to the donor partners of the program to continue funding the CHWs initiative since it has proven to be of immense help patients in hard-to-reach communities in the country.

The Country Director of MPA, Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko, also commenting on the initiative lauded the leadership of the country for the passion and the zeal with which they attach to health related matters in the country.

According to him, the decision for the leadership of the country to declare their total commitment to supporting the CHWs therefore came as no surprise, expressing the hope that with such enthusiasm, Ghana will in no time attain the universal health coverage status.

He therefore urged the government not to delay in ensuring that the next batch of CHWs is recruited early to sustain the gains made by the outgoing community health workers.