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Background

Universal access to good quality care remains a major concern of health systems globally.1 Ghana was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to introduce a national health insurance scheme (NHIS) to promote attainment of universal health coverage. The NHIS was introduced as a social intervention to replace out-of-pocket (OOP) payment at the point of health service delivery. Implementation of the NHIS contributed significantly to improved outpatient and inpatient service utilization and health outcomes.2 Notwithstanding these positive contributions, sustainability of the...

This month, we read from the SOCIALAB coalition-one of the eight coalitions supported by KTNET Africa. The SOCIALAB team shared with us findings from a study that was carried out to explore the logistical and technical aspects of the implementation and use of rapid tests in the peripheral health facilities with laboratory services available. Urine dipsticks combining albuminuria and glycosuria tests were taken as an example. The findings revealed that while the use of simple and cheap technologies is expected to improve access to quality care, the tests were inappropriately used especially...

 Recently, 10 districts in Northern Uganda that reported a malaria outbreak a year ago were in the spotlight for yet another malaria outbreak.  A total of 22,873 cases were reported in the 10 districts with Mwoyo and Kitgum districts being the most affected. The cause of the recent outbreak was attributed to the cessation of IRS which was extensively done in the affected districts along with the distribution of insecticide treated bed nets (ITNs) by the government. These combined efforts reportedly brought malaria...

Developing Sustainable Community Health Resources in Poor Settings in Uganda (CoHeRe)

One of the continuing challenges to health care systems is how to find adequate resources to finance health programmes. Under Developing Sustainable Community Health Resources in Poor Settings in Uganda (CoHeRe) project’s action research in Luwero, which focuses on strengthening community health resources, we have been exploring how communities can leverage their locally available resources to support improvement in their health. While the project operates in a resource poor setting, we believe...

Does the introduction of rapid tests in antenatal care actually facilitate access to comprehensive medical examination of pregnant women?

Rapid diagnosis tests are biological tests used to quickly adapt patients’ management in case of detected abnormalities. These tests can be performed outside of a laboratory and without qualified laboratory staff. The availability of these rapid tests prevents situations in which pregnant women miss the minimum screening tests during antenatal care.

The SOCIALAB project, whose objective is to identify barriers and factors related to the...

This month three of our colleagues were privileged to be part of the training and dissemination workshop organised by the Accelerate project (Accelerating progress towards attainment of MDG 4 and 5 in Ghana through basic health systems function strengthening)-one of the eight coalitions supported by KTNET Africa. They shared blogs about some of the messages that emerged from the three-day workshop.  We also read from Assoc. Prof Elizeus Rutebemberwa and the COHEiSION Ghana project team.

In one of the blogs, titled ‘Can We Stop Motivating Health Workers Even As We Seek Ways To...

 

Previous blogs on the KTNET Africa platform on community engagement attest to the increasing relevance of community engagement to health systems in Africa. The concept of community engagement has been explained differently in the literature depending on the context and scope of application. However, the definition by Morgan and Lifshay (2006) in the context of public health states that community engagement refers to efforts that promote a mutual exchange of information, ideas and resources between community members and health authorities.

Active engagement of...

By Stephen Duku, Robert Kaba Alhassan and Edward Nketiah-Amponsah (COHEiSION PROJECT)

Social health insurance (SHI) has been identified as one of the principal healthcare financing strategies in the 21st century. Several low-and middle-income countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are at various implementation stages of social health insurance schemes all aimed at ultimately achieving universal coverage Ghana implemented a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) in 2003. This ‘mandatory’ scheme was to replace the ‘fee-for-service’ financing system and to ensure that...

Statistics from WHO and other literature sources indicate a rapid increase of hypertension, diabetes and cancer in Africa. There is a projected increase of hypertension in Africa from 92.3 million in 2000 to 216 million in 2030. Diabetes will increase from 7.1 million in 2000 to 18.6 million in 2030. New cancer cases will increase from 715,000 in 2008 to 1.28 million in 2030. Diabetes and hypertension cases will more than double in 30 years while it will take only 22 years to more than double the incidence cases of cancer. I have not come across a study  which says that by 2030, malaria,...

Imagine you were granted an opportunity to list (vent) some of your most frequently encountered challenges at your local health facility. Would your list comprise of inadequate space, drug stock outs, inadequate staffing, poor staff attitudes, health worker absenteeism, poor records keeping, queues or even more? What if you were further asked to comment about how these challenges affect the entire village, parish, sub-county, county, district, region, national and the global health system?  Would you ably articulate the linkages or would you just admit that you do not know and pass the...

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