An online platform to ensure improved access to quality health service delivery for citizens in 20 districts selected from four regions has commenced.
The Online platform built by Penplusbytes under the USAID funded “People for Health” (P4H) project (www.people4health.org) will be deployed to five districts in the Eastern Region from the November 6 to 10, 2017.
A statement issued by Penplusbytes, the lead ICT organization in the P4H project consortium, and copied to the Ghana News Agency said it was embarking on the dashboard deployment which would involve an orientation session for technology champions within the project districts.
The statement said two persons including one focal person and a representative from the District Health Monitoring Team in each district will be given authorisation to have direct access to citizens’ reports and will be taken through how to respond to comments, complaints and observations from patients emanating from their respective districts.
It said they will also be educated on how to aggregate and develop insights from citizens’ reports to be escalated to appropriate authorities for action using innovative technological means.
The statement said www.people4health.org is developed on Penplusbytes “Kakum” citizen engagement resource tool and was intended to facilitate citizens’ access to health information especially the Patients' Charter and provide an avenue for citizens to report their experiences in accessing healthcare.
The statement said the interactive platform purposely built for the P4H project was mainly to provide and share information on maternal and child health/family planning, malaria, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition and HIV/AIDS health service delivery at the district, regional and national levels.
It was also to provide a non-human interface means of reporting cases of stigmatization and discrimination in receiving proper health care especially among key populations and people living with HIV/AIDS.
The statement said the Eastern Regional deployment exercise is a follow-up of a similar deployment undertaken by Penplusbytes in October in the Northern Region with sensitization meetings amongst stakeholders such as the District Citizens Monitoring Committees (DCMCs) in each district (Afram Plains North, Birim South, New Juabeng, Akuapem North and Lower Manya Krobo), health service providers, District Health Monitoring Teams, among others.
It said some health facilities in each project district would also be visited and health workers educated on how the dashboard works. Flyers and posters will then be shared and displayed at vantage points within the facilities which would serve as a guide on how citizens can access the digital platform.
According to the Executive Director of Penplusbytes, Kwami Ahiabenu II, “The Northern Regional Deployment was successful and we hope to build on the experience with this one. Health facilities and professionals have particularly been very receptive to the digital tool despite contrary views of Ghanaians’ attitude to technological change. We hope same for this exercise.”
It said all project districts in the four regions (Northern, Eastern, Greater Accra and Volta regions) were expected to benefit from the deployment exercise before the close of the year.
The statement said the five-year USAID “People for Health (P4H)” Project was being implemented by the SEND-Ghana, Penplusbytes and Ghana News Agency consortium in 20 districts in four regions of Ghana.
"The project seeks to strengthen organisational and institutional capacities of government and civil society organisations (CSOs) for mutual accountability in health, HIV, water, sanitation and hygiene, family planning and nutrition policy formulation and implementation," the statement said.