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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...

Accountability in service delivery can be defined as a process in which communities and consider providers as responsible for the adequacy and effectiveness of the services they provide. For the poor, and the marginalized communities, political accountability can be achieved by giving them a voice and the possibility to choose or vote. Indeed, the accountability can only be requested by a ‘social pact’ in which governments assist, fund and regulate the service providers. When communities are empowered enough to request adequate and efficient services, they are aware of areas where the...

"There is no tool in development more powerful than the development of women.” Kofi Annan

This week, KTNET Africa and our coalition partners join the rest of the world to celebrate the International Women’s Day under the theme “Empowering Women-Empowering Humanity-Picture It!!” When I reflect upon the work of our coalition partners especially those focusing on maternal and child health, all I picture is empowering women-empowering humanity. I therefore cannot hesitate to conclude that the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, KTNET Africa and coalition partners are...

Have you ever imagined how much potential lies within our local communities when it comes to disease prevention? This month, we were privileged to read from Dr. Leon Mutesa about establishment of an innovative strategy to actively engage local communities in an iterative process aiming at malaria elimination in Ruhuha sector, Rwanda.  This raised a concern about sustainability form Dr. Elizabeth Ekirapa who noted that many initiatives in Africa often die as soon as programs end.  To read the full article follow this...

In our previous blogs we have attempted to define community engagement, outlined its importance, and shared stories regarding the dynamics of managing attitudes, interests and conflicts. However, an important question that has inspired me to write this blog article was asked during a recent midterm review meeting for one of the eight NWO/WOTRO funded research coalitions coordinated by KTNET Africa.

“We note that you have done so well to engage all stakeholders-from the grassroots through to the policy makers. However, your self assessment report and presentations do not explicitly...

A Malaria Elimination Program for Ruhuha (MEPR) has been initiated since 2010. For the preparation of this program various activities have been accomplished. Open space community meetings, a baseline household survey, a stakeholder analysis, focus group discussions, and adult and larvae mosquito surveys were all conducted among others. A series of research results dissemination sessions were also held with various stakeholders. Among the outcomes of the research was the suggestion for the establishment of community-based malaria action teams (CMATs) in each village.

The...

Today, there are numerous engagements between communities and health practitioners, with communities seeking action for better health outcomes. These engagements have in many ways improved the health behavior of individuals as well as communities. Classical examples are in the areas of health promotion and stimulation of demand for health services especially maternal and newborn health services.  According to Sennen Hounton et al, communities are often very powerful forces of change and should therefore not be viewed and treated as empty vessels by those seeking to engage them, a statement...

“We have the knowledge to improve maternal health outcomes and in general, we know what interventions and strategies are needed to achieve this goal. In order to scale up efforts and accelerate progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal to improve maternal health, however, we must be able to implement effective maternal health programs given a country’s particular setting, policies and resource constraints” [1]

Despite the renewed global effort since 1990, insufficient progress is being made towards improving maternal health in many African countries. Effective, cost...

This is a real story of a humble couple that was looking forward to their first born child. After attending antenatal care faithfully, the lady went to a health centre to deliver. She was sent away by the health worker because her labour pains were still mild. She and her husband decided to go to a traditional birth attendant far deep in the village whom they found at home and she delivered the lady. After one week, the child got sick, was taken to a private clinic to get medical treatment but the costs were too high for the parents. They decided to go to their...

There is now very clear recognition that social factors such as individual behaviour, lifestyles, socio-economic status and the physical environment can have a greater impact on health outcomes than medical care. This is because the state of health for an individual, family and community is determined by interrelated factors. For example, there is clear correlation between the stratification of society and the pattern of health and illness. The educated, affluent and privileged groups enjoy better health than the poor, illiterate, deprived and unemployed....

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