Monitoring and evaluation health and social developments in Agona district
On 22nd July, 2014, Mr. Enoch Osafo, a consultant (Monitoring and Evaluation Officer), from STAR-GHANA visited the Young and Lonely Foundation (YLF) at the office in Agona Swedru to monitor and evaluate the achievement made so far in the Agona district. The participants he met at the office were; Mr. Gilbert Germain, Emmanuel Marfo, Mercy Arthur and Esther Pinkrah. The purpose for his visit was to interact with the organization and to access their undertaken project concerning maternal health activities: “maternal health dialogue meetings / education in the communities, collecting complains using the Ombudsmen mechanism, distribution of patient’s right charter and the role of District Citizens Monitoring Committee (DCMCs) members”. The assessment focused on the activities implemented by YLF for SEND-Ghana and Alliance for Reproductive Health Right (ARHR) funded by STAR-Ghana. The discussion started at our office which continued at the District Health, District Assembly and some communities.
The various places we visited during the evaluation process were:
• Agona East District Health Management Office
At the directorate’s office, we met Assistance Director and his team member who participated in interaction with YLF team and Mr. Osafo , who gave us a review on the project done with YLF more especially with the silent set down demonstration, the community score card, education on the patient right charter, the use of the Ombudsmen in collecting complain etc and how these activities has help to bring complains from client. This has contributed positively to the reshuffling of some staff member at Nsaba health center.
They recommend that the activities should be on going since it is helping them to get the actual grievances from the community focus.
They said, the activities have given them more proof about how some of the health worker treat client when they visit the health facility for health care services.
They added to it that, the activities has help them to restructure things base on how to put measure in place to help client who comes to the health facility. Due to that, they have now provided suggestion box for client, given orientation to health workers on human relation and in-services training on patient right charter.
They recommended that, the ARHR patient’s right charter has really helped clients to know their right and has also made staffs to be cautious on how they treat clients due to the resent translation of the charter.
• Agona Nsaba Health Center
At the health center, YLF team and Mr. Osafo interacted with the midwife in charge and her team based on the achievement the project has brought to their facility. They said, the project has really brought about numerous improvements in the health facility such as, increase of attendance in health care services (ANC, PNC etc). It has helped their clients to feel free when they are coming to the health center for services, it has made a great impact in the strengthen of the health work. They said the patients have now improved on their responsibility as a patient and it has also help to ratify some problems the community was facing which was preventing them from patronizing the health centre. The midwife charge told us that there has been improvements in the manner pregnant women use to come to the health center for maternal services ever due to our education and activities. She added to it that, as at now their main complain is the NHIS card. She proceeded to say whenever the client come to their health facility and they are been asked to provided the NHIS card, the client gives a lot of complains base on the reason why they don’t have. Some of the reason is that, unless the travel to Agona Swedru before to get it, it also delay when the time is up for them to go for it, they also see it as a waste of time etc.
• At the District Assembly
At the District Assembly, they met the District Planning Officer to discus base on the how the project has benefited the District as a whole. She said that, YLF maternal health project has even help the district to identify communities needs in maternal health which will lead to in the drastically reduction in maternal death. She also said they want to turn Nsaba Health Center into hospital due to the intervention and some foundlings by YLF. The validation meeting and workshop has also helped in various means. In addition she said the dialogue they had with clients which was part of the YLF activities has helped a lot because it brought out the challenges the people were facing which they did not have any idea on the situation patient were encountering whenever they visit the health center. She also talked about the poor road network which the district has started toward.
A Community Member
We also contacted Munifa, a community member who has been visiting the health center and she also admitted that, the health workers at first were not treating clients well but now they respond well to them. She said it may be as a result of change of staffs at the health center. She conclude by congratulating the YLF for their good work done in the District and other sub district.
• At the PROTOA /GPRTU Office
They went to the PROTOA/GPRTU office after the discussion with Munifa, they met the executives of PROTOA, one of the drivers’ associations to check on how far the taxi drivers who go to Nsaba have taken into consideration extending their turning point at Nsaba health center instead of the police station. The chairman for PROTOA said they have told the drivers but they still want to meet them again to encourage them to help all pregnant women who want to go to the health centre.
• One of the DCMC Member
We also had a discussion with Madam Dora a District community Develop officer also as DCMC member for this project. She said, she has been part of community development staff who organized people to render voluntary services. According to Madam Dora, they are about seven in number and when they meet they discussed issue that can help them improve maternal health. She added that, they have been to many places including churches and mosques. Madam Dora stated that DCMC members should be sustained and she also recommended that other donors should help us to sustain this committee to the future.
Mr. Gilbert Germain also recommended that, for Ghana to meet the MDGs 5 we all have a responsibility to play as an individual, community and a country to achieve MDGs 5.