Uptake of Task-Strengthening Strategy for Hypertension (TASSH) control within Community-Based Health Planning Services in Ghana: study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Physician shortage is a major barrier to hypertension (HTN) control in Ghana, with only one physician to 10,000 patients in 2015, thus limiting its capacity for HTN control at the primary care level such as the Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds, where most Ghanaians receive care. A Task-Shifting Strategy for HTN control (TASSH) based on the WHO Cardiovascular (CV) Risk Package is an evidence-based strategy for mitigating provider- and systems-level barriers to optimal HTN control. Despite its effectiveness, TASSH remains untested in CHPS zones. Additionally, primary care practices in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) lack resources and expertise needed to coordinate multilevel system changes without assistance. The proposed study will evaluate the effectiveness of practice facilitation (PF) as a quality improvement strategy for implementing TASSH within CHPS zones in Ghana. METHODS:Guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research and the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance framework, we will evaluate, in a hybrid clinical effectiveness-implementation design, the effect of PF on the uptake of an evidence-based TASSH, among 700 adults who present to 70 CHPS zones with uncontrolled HTN. Components of the PF strategy include (a) an advisory board that provides leadership support for implementing the intervention within the CHPS zones and (b) trained task-strengthening facilitators (TSFs) who serve as practice coaches to provide training, and performance feedback to community health officers (CHOs) who will deliver TASSH at the CHPS zones. For this purpose, the TSFs are trained to identify, counsel, and refer adults with uncontrolled HTN to community health centers in Bono East Region of Ghana. DISCUSSION:Uptake of community-based evidence-supported interventions for hypertension control in Ghana is urgently needed to address the CVD epidemic and its associated morbidity, mortality, and societal costs. Findings from this study will provide policymakers and other stakeholders the "how to do it" empirical literature on the uptake of evidence-based task-strengthening interventions for HTN control in Ghana and will serve as a model for similar action in other low, middle-income countries. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03490695 . Registered on 6 April 2018. PROTOCOL VERSION AND DATE:Version 1, date: 21 August, 2019.
Project description:Ghana has developed two main community-based strategies that aim to increase access to quality treatment for malaria, diarrhoea and suspected pneumonia: the integrated community case management (iCCM) and the community-based health planning and services (CHPS). The aim of the study was to assess the cost-effectiveness of these strategies under programme conditions.A cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment given was the effectiveness measure used. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment data was obtained from a household survey conducted 2 and 8 years after implementation of iCCM in the Volta and Northern Regions of Ghana, respectively. The study population was carers of children under-5 years who had fever, diarrhoea and/or cough in the last 2 weeks prior to the interview. Costs data was obtained mainly from the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), the Ministry of Health, CHPS compounds and from a household survey.Appropriate diagnosis and treatment of malaria, diarrhoea and suspected pneumonia was more cost-effective under the iCCM than under CHPS in the Volta Region, even after adjusting for different discount rates, facility costs and iCCM and CHPS utilization, but not when iCCM appropriate treatment was reduced by 50%. Due to low numbers of carers visiting a CBA in the Northern Region it was not possible to conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis in this region. However, the cost analysis showed that iCCM in the Northern Region had higher cost per malaria, diarrhoea and suspected pneumonia case diagnosed and treated when compared to the Volta Region and to the CHPS strategy in the Northern Region.Integrated community case management was more cost-effective than CHPS for the treatment of malaria, diarrhoea and suspected pneumonia when utilized by carers of children under-5 years in the Volta Region. A revision of the iCCM strategy in the Northern Region is needed to improve its cost-effectiveness. Long-term financing strategies should be explored including potential inclusion in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) benefit package. An acceptability study of including iCCM in the NHIS should be conducted.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Jhpiego implemented a 5-year project to strengthen the Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) model in six coastal districts of Ghana's Western Region. The project utilized a quality improvement approach (Standards-Based Management and Recognition [SBM-R]) to strengthen implementation fidelity of the CHPS model. This article presents findings from an end-of-project evaluation comparing quality, access to care, and experience of care in intervention and comparison CHPS zones. METHODS:A non-equivalent, posttest-only, end-of-project evaluation compared 12 randomly selected intervention zones with 12 matched comparison zones. Data from standards-based assessments measured provision of care in three categories: community engagement, clinical services, and facility readiness and management. Access to and experience of care were assessed using a household survey of 426 randomly selected community members from the selected CHPS zones. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to compare performance on these measures between intervention and comparison CHPS zones. RESULTS:Overall, intervention zones outperformed comparison zones on achievement of standards (83.6% vs 58.8%) across all three assessment categories, with strongest results in community engagement (85.7% vs. 41.4%). Respondents in intervention zones were more than twice as likely to have received a home visit from a community health officer, three times as likely to have a home visit from a community health volunteer, and more likely to have attended a health talk (41.9% vs. 27.0%). Client experiences of care were reported as positive in both study arms. CONCLUSIONS:The evaluation demonstrated improved access to quality care; however, there were very few differences in client experience of care between intervention and comparison zones. As Ghana and other countries are committed to scaling up universal health care, a pragmatic approach such as SBM-R could prove useful to engage both facility- and community-based service providers, as well as community members, to improve provision of care.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The Ghana Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) initiative is a national strategy for improving access to primary health care services for underserved communities. Following a successful trial in the North Eastern part of the country, CHPS was adopted as Ghana's flagship programme for achieving the Universal Health Coverage. Recent empirical evidence suggests, however, that scale-up of CHPS has not necessarily replicated the successes of the pilot study. This study examines the community's perspective of the performance of CHPS and how the scale up could potentially align with the original experimental study. METHOD:Applying a qualitative research methodology, this study analysed transcripts from 20 focus group discussions (FGDs) in four functional CHPS zones in separate districts of the Northern and Volta Regions of Ghana to understand the community's assessment of CHPS. The study employed the thematic analysis to explore the content of the CHPS service provision, delivery and how community members feel about the service. In addition, ordinary least regression model was applied in interpreting 126 scores consigned to CHPS by the study respondents. RESULTS:Two broad areas of consensus were observed: general favourable and general unfavourable thematic areas. Favourable themes were informed by approval, appreciation, hard work and recognition of excellent services. The unfavourable thematic area was informed by rudeness, extortion, inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour, lack of basic equipment and disappointments. The findings show that mothers of children under the age of five, adolescent girls without children, and community leaders generally expressed favourable perceptions of CHPS while fathers of children under the age of five and adolescent boys without children had unfavourable expressions about the CHPS program. A narrow focus on maternal and child health explains the demographic divide on the perception of CHPS. The study revealed wide disparities in actual CHPS deliverables and community expectations. CONCLUSIONS:A communication gap between health care providers and community members explains the high and unrealistic expectations of CHPS. Efforts to improve program acceptability and impact should address the need for more general outreach to social networks and men rather than a sole focus on facility-based maternal and child health care.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To strengthen the implementation of the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) programme which is Ghana's key primary health care delivery strategy, the CHPS+ Project was initiated in 2017. We examined community utilisation and satisfaction with CHPS services in two System Learning Districts (SLDs) of the project. METHODS:This community-based descriptive study was conducted in the Nkwanta South Municipality and Central Tongu District of Ghana. Data were collected from 1008 adults and analysed using frequency, percentage, chi-square, and logistic regression models. RESULTS:While the level of utilisation of CHPS services was 65.2%, satisfaction was 46.1%. Utilisation was 76.7% in Nkwanta South and 53.8% in Central Tongu. Satisfaction was also 55.2% in Nkwanta South and 37.1% in Central Tongu. Community members in Nkwanta South were more likely to utilise (AOR?=?3.17, 95%CI?=?3.98-9.76) and be satisfied (AOR?=?2.77, 95%CI?=?1.56-4.90) with CHPS services than those in Central Tongu. Females were more likely to utilise (AOR?=?1.75, 95%CI?=?1.27-2.39) but less likely to be satisfied [AOR?=?0.47, 95%CI?=?0.25-0.90] with CHPS services than males. Even though subscription to the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was just 46.3%, NHIS subscribers were more likely to utilise (AOR?=?1.51, 95%CI?=?1.22-2.03) and be satisfied (AOR?=?1.45, 95%CI?=?0.53-1.68) with CHPS services than non-subscribers. CONCLUSION:Ghana may not be able to achieve the goal of universal health coverage (UHC) by the year 2030 if current levels of utilisation and satisfaction with CHPS services persist. To accelerate progress towards the achievement of UHC with CHPS as the vehicle through which primary health care is delivered, there should be increased public education by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on the CHPS concept to increase utilisation. Service quality should also be improved by the GHS and other stakeholders in Ghana's health industry to increase satisfaction with CHPS services. The GHS and the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) should also institute innovative strategies to increase subscription to the NHIS since it has implications for CHPS service utilisation and satisfaction.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Community volunteerism is essential in the implementation of the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) in Ghana. We explored the responsibilities, motivations and challenges of community health management committees (CHMCs) in two CHPS+ Project districts in Ghana. METHODS:We used a qualitative approach to collect data through 4 focus group discussions among a purposive sample of community health volunteers in December 2018 and analysed them thematically. RESULTS:Community health management committees (CHMCs) were found to provide support in running the CHPS programme through resource mobilisation, monitoring of logistics, assisting the Community Health Officers (CHO) in the planning of CHPS activities, and the resolution of conflicts between CHOs and community members. The value, understanding and protective functions were the key motivations for serving on CHMCs. Financial, logistical and telecommunication challenges, lack of recognition and cooperation from community members, lack of motivation and lack of regular skill development training programmes for CHMC members who serve as traditional birth attendants (TBAs) were major challenges in CHMC volunteerism. CONCLUSION:Community health volunteerism needs to be prioritised by the Ghana Health Service and other health sector stakeholders to make it attractive for members to give off their best in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Project description:The completion of an implementation research project typically signals the end of research. In contrast, the Ghana Health Service has embraced a continuous process of evidence-based programming, wherein each research episode is followed by action and a new program of research that monitors and guides the utilization of lessons learned. This paper reviews the objectives and design of the most recent phase in this process, known as a National Program for Strengthening the Implementation of the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) Initiative in Ghana (CHPS+).A mixed method evaluation strategy has been launched involving: i) baseline and endline randomized sample surveys with 247 clusters dispersed in 14 districts of the Northern and Volta Regions to assess the difference in difference effect of stepped wedge differential cluster exposure to CHPS+ activities on childhood survival, ii) a monitoring system to assess the association of changes in service system readiness with CHPS+ interventions, and iii) a program of qualitative systems appraisal to gauge stakeholder perceptions of systems problems, reactions to interventions, and perceptions of change. Integrated survey and monitoring data will permit multi-level longitudinal models of impact; longitudinal QSA data will provide data on the implementation process.A process of exchanges, team interaction, and catalytic financing has accelerated the expansion of community-based primary health care in Ghana's Upper East Region (UER). Using two Northern and two Volta Region districts, the UER systems learning concept will be transferred to counterpart districts where a program of team-based peer training will be instituted. A mixed method research system will be used to assess the impact of this transfer of innovation in collaboration with national and regional program management. This arrangement will generate embedded science that optimizes prospects that results will contribute to national CHPS reform policies and action.
Project description:Three-quarters of sub-Saharan Africa's urban population currently live under slum conditions making them susceptible to ill health and diseases. Ghana characterizes the situation in many developing countries where the urban poor have become a group much afflicted by complex health problems associated with their living conditions, and the intra-city inequity between them and the more privileged urban dwellers with respect to health care accessibility. Adopting Ghana's rural Community-Based Health Planning and Service (CHPS) programme in urban areas is challenging due to the differences in social networks and health challenges thus making modifications necessary. The Community Health Officers (CHOs) and their supervisors are the frontline providers of health in the community and there is a need to analyze and document the health sector response to urban CHPS.The study was solely qualitative and 19 in-depth interviews were conducted with all the CHOs and key health sector individuals in supervisory/coordinating positions working in urban CHPS zones to elicit relevant issues concerning urban CHPS implementation. Thematic content data analysis was done using the NVivo 7 software.Findings from this appraisal suggest that the implementation of this urban concept of the CHPS programme has been well undertaken by the health personnel involved in the process despite the challenges that they face in executing their duties. Several issues came to light including the lack of first aid drugs, as well as the need for the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses (IMNCI) programme and more indepth training for CHOs. In addition, the need to provide incentives for the volunteers and Community Health Committee members to sustain their motivation and the CHOs' apprehensions with regards to furthering their education and progression in their careers were key concerns raised.The establishment of the CHPS concept in the urban environment albeit challenging has been fraught with several opportunities to introduce innovations which tailor the rural milestones to meet urban needs. Modifications such as adjusting timing of home visits and renting accommodation in the communities for the CHOs have been beneficial to the programme.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Community-based initiatives have enormous potential to facilitate the attainment of universal health coverage (UHC) and health system development. Yet key gaps exist and threaten its sustainability in many low-income and middle-income countries. This study is first of its kind (following the launch of the Sustainable Developments Goal [SDG]) and aimed to holistically explore the challenges to achieving UHC through the community-based health planning and service (CHPS) initiative in Ghana. DESIGN:A qualitative study design was adopted to explore the phenomenon. Face-to-face indepth interviews were conducted from April 2017 until February 2018 through purposive and snowball sampling techniques. Data were analysed using inductive and deductive thematic analysis approach. SETTING:Data were gathered at the national level, in addition to the regional, district and subdistrict/local levels of four regions of Ghana. Sampled regions were Central Region, Greater Accra Region, Upper East Region and Volta Region. PARTICIPANTS:In total, 67 participants were interviewed: national level (5), regional levels (11), district levels (9) and local levels (42). Interviewees were mainly stakeholders-people whose actions or inactions actively or passively influence the decision-making, management and implementation of CHPS, including policy makers, managers of CHPS compound and health centres, politicians, academics, health professionals, technocrats, and community health management committee members. RESULTS:Based on our findings, inadequate understanding of CHPS concept, major contextual changes with stalled policy change to meet growing health demands, and changes in political landscape and leadership with changed priorities threaten CHPS sustainability. CONCLUSION:UHC is a political choice which can only be achieved through sustainable and coherent efforts. Along countries' pathways to reach UHC, coordinated involvement of all stakeholders, from community members to international partners, is essential. To achieve UHC within the time frame of SDGs, Ghana has no choice but to improve its national health governance to strengthen the capacity of existing CHPS.
Project description:Countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are experiencing an epidemic of cardiovascular disease (CVD) propelled by rapidly increasing rates of hypertension. Barriers to hypertension control in SSA include poor access to care and high out-of-pocket costs. Although SSA bears 24% of the global disease burden, it has only 3% of the global health workforce. Given such limited resources, cost-effective strategies, such as task shifting, are needed to mitigate the rising CVD epidemic in SSA. Ghana, a country in SSA with an established community health worker program integrated within a national health insurance scheme provides an ideal platform to evaluate implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) task-shifting strategy. This study will evaluate the comparative effectiveness of the implementation of the WHO Package targeted at CV risk assessment versus provision of health insurance coverage, on blood pressure (BP) reduction.Using a cluster randomized design, 32 community health centers (CHCs) and district hospitals in Ghana will be randomized to either the intervention group (16 CHCs) or the control group (16 CHCs). A total of 640 patients with uncomplicated hypertension (BP 140-179/90-99 mm Hg and absence of target organ damage) will be enrolled in this study (20 patients per CHC). The intervention consists of WHO Package of CV risk assessment, patient education, initiation and titration of antihypertensive medications, behavioral counseling on lifestyle behaviors, and medication adherence every three months for 12 months. The primary outcome is the mean change in systolic BP from baseline to 12 months. The secondary outcomes are rates of BP control at 12 months; levels of physical activity, percent change in weight, and dietary intake of fruits and vegetables at 12 months; and sustainability of intervention effects at 24 months. All outcomes will be assessed at baseline, six months and 12 months. Trained community health nurses will deliver the intervention as part of Ghana's community-based health planning and services (CHPS) program.Findings from this study will provide policy makers and other stakeholders needed information to recommend scalable and cost-effective policy with respect to comprehensive CV risk reduction and hypertension control in resource-poor settings.NCT01802372.
Project description:Background:Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition improvement Project is a World Bank-funded project implemented in all then ten regions of Ghana, which aims at improving access and utilization of community-based maternal, child health, and nutrition services in order to accelerate progress. This study is aimed at determining the implementation status of the project in the Eastern region by evaluating the processes involved and identifying implementation barriers from the perspective of implementors. Methods:The study was a cross-sectional in design and employed a quantitative data collection approach in ten Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) centres in five districts in the region. The project coordinators and Community Health Officers were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. The project implementation reports at the facility level were reviewed using a checklist. Tertile statistic was used to describe the status of the project implementation. Result:The finding from this study indicated "complete implementation status" for maternal, child health, and nutrition activities of the project. However, none of the facilities evaluated had satisfactorily implemented all the governance processes and were therefore rated as "partially complete." The main implementation barriers emerged from the study were related to restrictions placed on the use of project funds and delays in the fund disbursement to CHPS facilities. Conclusion:The evidence gathered from the study showed very good implementation status for community-led maternal and child health service delivery, indicative of a positive response to the guidelines by service providers at the periphery and can have positive impact on the project's objectives and goals. Governance component of the project, however, revealed inadequate alignment with guidelines which might have been influenced by the lack of knowledge as a result of lack of training for implementers. This therefore calls for in-service training and improved supportive supervision at both administrative and service delivery levels.