This West African nation, with a population of 23 million, has made great advances in its development since its independence in 1957. The country’s economy, education system, and health system all compare favorably to its regional neighbors. However, despite these advances the country still faces considerable challenges, including decentralizing the health system. In light of the growing degree of managerial responsibility delegated to districts and hospitals, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) agency is to provide and manage comprehensive and accessible health services with special emphasis on primary health care at regional, district and sub-district levels. The interventions undertaken by the GHS have the promise to improve performance of regional and district programs and to markedly reduce maternal and child mortality. GHS regional and district teams have developed plans and now face the difficult challenge of ensuring their full implementation and impact. This requires a level of engagement and leadership and management skills not generally present in the district and regional teams.
Since mid-2008, LMS has been working with the Ghana Health Services (GHS), an implementation branch of the Ghana Ministry of Health, focusing both on capacity-building for regional health teams, and increasing the awareness and competency of leadership and management skills among senior leaders.
- GHS has secured funding from a health systems strengthening grant from GAVI to roll out the LDP in other regions of Ghana. The first LDP workshop under this roll-out took place in the Ashanti region.
- Eleven senior leaders have acquired new leadership and management skills.
- In October 2009, a training of trainers workshop was conducted for 22 new facilitators who came from GHS, MOH, the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).
- The Human Resource team in the Senior Leadership Strengthening Process workshops achieved their measurable result: “By February 2010, a Nursing Staffing Norm for Atua District Hospital developed.” The team adapted the National Nursing Staffing Norm to calculate the difference in the number of nurses needed for the hospital and the number of nurses currently working at the hospital. The Director of Human Resources at GHS has expressed interest in applying the adapted norm nation-wide.
- The Infection Control team in the Senior Leadership Strengthening Process workshops developed an infection control committee, adopted the GHS Infection Control Policy, and implemented training to ensure the hand washing practice in the Pantang District hospital now conforms to GHS standards.