Health Advocacy Project
Training community in advocacy for reproductive rights and improved service
The ARHR supports this project in Ghana. ARHR advocates for improved maternal health in Ghana. It trains young women in reproductive rights and lobby. It engages government, Ministry of Health for training midwives, provision of emergency obstetric care and family planning services. It builds capacity of local NGOs and citizens to track Millenium Development Goals (MDG’s) 4, 5, & 6 [link: http:// www.undp.org/mdg/] and to demand improved health rights from District Health Management teams.
Who will benefit?
- 4 health facilties reached
- 488000 people in communities reached
- 1000 with access to health information
- 100 people reached
Project in depth
Healthcare Categories: Health, Raising awareness
In 2000, Ghana committed to the Millenium development Goals (MDGs). For some of the goals, Ghana is on the right trach, like the one for education. For MDG 4 and 5, progress is worse. The child and maternal mortality rate is increasing, especially in rural areas. The maternal mortality rate in Ghana is 560 per 100,000 live births. The percentage of pregnant women delivering under supervision of skilled staff is only 45%.
Furthermore, there are problems with regard to clean drinking water, sanitation, malaria and a lack of qualified health staff, bad roads and poor transportation systems.
In the focus districts of this project, the health infrastructure is inadequate beacuse of growing population.
There are not enough trustworthy data on health indicators and civil society organizations are not enough involved in monitoring. people in the community are lacking knowledge on their rights for good health care.
Data was collected at three levels – national, district and community. A community score card was introduced to capture the experiences and perception of communities on quality of health care services in the study districts.
A national forum which under the theme, ‘Stand Up and Take Action against Maternal Mortality’ was organized to remind government of the measured progress on the health MDGs.
The Health Insurance Reference Group led by ARHR met with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Health on October 28th 2010. Major issue stressed was the need for family planning to be covered under the NHIS to help reduce MM and contribute in achieving MDG 4&5.
The Alliance also organized a one day national conference on the theme “MDGs for Better Health: Promises or Commitments”.
To enhance advocacy by the Alliance especially at the grass root level, ARHR organised a two day advocacy and lobbying training for project focal NGOs and Health Platform members at the Institute of local Government Studies in March 2011. 25 persons participated in the training.
In January 2011, the Alliance organized a media training workshop for twenty (20) media organizations. The training sought to build the capacity of the media to track and report incidence of maternal and child deaths effectively. It also aimed to build a strong relationship with the media for extensive reporting on the factors associated with maternal morbidity and mortality especially in poor and isolated rural communities and groups of women most affected the scourge.
1. The in- and output of health prgrammes is monitored at district level, in a participatory way. Data are presented in reports and are used for lobby on district and national level.
2. Responsibility and transparancy of government on MDGs 3, 4 and 5 is improved by budget tracking.
3. The ARHR, the NGO member organizations and the Health Platform will be capacitated in research and lobby skills with regard to national health processes.
4. Links are created between community and district level health facilities to improve the sense of the community for their right to health care.
Within the project, there is special attention for healh care personnel, contraception and reproductive health care for adolescents. Also attention is paid to district level health infrastructure - Community-Health Based Compounds/Centres.
Long term objective:
To contribute to achieving the health related MDG (4, 5 and 6) in Ghana – leading to reductions in under five mortality rate by two-thirds, reductions in maternal mortality by three-quarters, halting the spread of HIV.
Short term objectives:
1. Improved government’s accountability to the public on health MDGs in ARHR’s project districts and at the national level
2. Improved capacity of communities to monitor district level health programmes and demand their rights to health
- 13 Community meeting between district authorities and people
- 3 Studies to generate evidence for advocacy
- 4 National level advocacy and policy dialogues
- 7000 citizens attend community meetings in target districts
- 14 semi-annual review meetings
This project aims particulary at capacity building for civil society organizations and communities at district level, to monitor progress on MDGs 4, 5 and 6. In this way, people are more aware of their rights and can press governments to intensify health programmes.
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