Catalyzing the scale-up of community-based primary healthcare in a rural impoverished region of northern Ghana

Awoonor-Williams, John Koku; Phillips, James F.; Bawah, Ayaga A.

Ghana’s Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) initiative develops accessible healthcare with participatory community support, using strategies developed and tested by a project of the Navrongo Health Research Centre. In 1996, the project was expanded to a district-wide four-celled trial. In response to evidence that strategies could reduce fertility and childhood mortality, a replication project was launched to develop methods for scale-up. Based on experience gained, CHPS scale-up was launched in 2000. Although CHPS
now reaches all of Ghana’s districts, the pace of scale-up within districts has been slow. In response, the Ministry of Health conducted a review of factors that constrain CHPS scale-up and problems that detract from its original evidence-based design. To resolve problems that were identified, a project was launched in 2010 to test means of accelerating CHPS scale-up and expanding its range of care. Known as the Ghana Essential Health Interventions Program(GEHIP), the project provided catalytic revenue to four treatment district managers for 3 years, in conjunction with implementation of strategies for comprehensive leadership development and community partnership. Monitoring systems were developed to gauge CHPS coverage time trends in all nine study districts. GEHIP successfully accelerated CHPS implementation, producing 100% of its targeted community coverage within 5 years of implementation. Coverage in comparison districts also improved. However, the rate of coverage and percent of the population reached by CHPS in comparison districts was only half that of GEHIP districts. GEHIP success in completing CHPS coverage represents the initial stage of a national program for strengthening community health systems in Ghana.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for Successful_scale-up__4-30-15_.pdf Successful_scale-up__4-30-15_.pdf application/pdf 917 KB Download File

Also Published In

International Journal of Health Planning and Management

More About This Work

Academic Units
Population and Family Health
Published Here
December 16, 2016