The Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) has handed over 64 completed and fully-equipped Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in the Upper West Region to the Government of Ghana.

The CHPS compounds, constructed and equipped with a grant of JP¥ 989,000, 000 (8.5 million US dollars) from the Japanese government, will contribute to improving geological access to health care facilities, especially to the rural folks.

Speaking at the launch of the CHPS Policy Document and commissioning of the 64 completed compounds, the Vice President, Paa Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, indicated that providing health care to the underserved was a key priority of government.

He said government was determined to ensure that every Ghanaian obtained equal health care without any restrictions.

He disclosed that within the last five years, government had increased community health nurses in the districts and deprived areas with the purpose of giving quality health care to all persons.

Mr Amissah-Arthur said having launched the CHPS Policy Document, the Ministry of Health would now disseminate the document to all district health directorates across the country and ensure that all districts, especially those in the rural areas, constructed two CHPS compounds every year to help meet the set target of 6,500.

It is expected that the Revised CHPS Policy would help guide health programming and investment at the community level.

The Community based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) is a health care concept adopted by the Ghana Health Service and its developing partners to make primary health care accessible to all. The operation of CHPS brings health care closer to its clients.

The workers and community members are actively engaged as partners in the delivery of Primary Health Care (PHC) and Family Planning services. It involves community participation in Primary Health Care and Family Planning Services delivery through Community Health Committees and Community Health Volunteers in a community Health Compound.

The concept was the outcome of an experiment at the Navrongo Health Research center which demonstrated that childhood mortality can be reduced in impoverished rural communities through improved outreach and community mobilization.