The USAID Systems for Health Project is a five-year project working with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to strengthen its efforts to reduce preventable child and maternal deaths, reduce unmet need for family planning, reduce childhood mortality and morbidity from malaria, and improve nutritional status for children under five and pregnant women. The project is working to strengthen vital health system building blocks while promoting CHPS (community-based health planning and services), strategic behavior change communication and targeted demand generation to maximize service delivery coverage. University Research Co., LLC (URC) and its partners envision that by 2019, Ghana’s health system will be sufficiently robust that the Government of Ghana (GOG) and its health workforce will be able to sustain equitable access to, demand for, and use of high-quality, high-impact health services with reduced external support, especially in the five project-supported regions. A particular focus of the project is the expansion and strengthening of integrated services for malaria, family planning and reproductive health, maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition at all levels of the health system, including the district, sub-district and CHPS/community levels.
This project is based on the principle that ensuring access to and use of high quality services by all Ghanaians begins with strengthening five of the six WHO-defined health system building blocks: improving management and leadership; health information systems; the health workforce; supply chain and infrastructure; and health financing. By strengthening these areas, the delivery of quality health services—the sixth building block—will also improve.
With the help from partners, improving the supply of services will be accomplished by building capacity at the regional, district and community levels to not miss any opportunity to reach beneficiaries. The project also works to strengthen the system of referrals between the levels of the health system, and through quality service provision by both public and private providers. On the demand side, Systems for Health will emphasize community mobilization and strategic behavior change communications to improve health knowledge, increase demand for health services and promote stakeholder engagement in the management of health services.