Ghana Health Service and Ministry of Health strengthen the country’s Health Scorecards
The Ministry of Health (MoH) and Ghana Health Service (GHS), through the Family Health Division (FHD), Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PPMED) and the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), with support from the African Leaders Malaria Alliance Secretariat (ALMA), met last week to strengthen the use of Ghana’s Scorecards for Reproductive Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) and for Malaria Control and Elimination. The scorecards serve as management tools to strengthen accountability, transparency and action in the country’s efforts to reduce maternal mortality, neonatal mortality, child mortality and eliminate malaria.
The idea behind the scorecards is simple yet powerful. Scorecards permit high-level decision makers, programme directors and managers to easily monitor and identify issues related to the quarterly performance of selected high impact health interventions at national, regional, district and sub-district level. The health indicators on the scorecard include interventions for women, newborns, children, and adolescents, such as maternal health services, immunization coverage, vitamin A supplementation, insecticide treated net usage, and malaria case management, among others.
Each intervention and geographic location is assigned a colour: green (on track), yellow (some progress), red (not on track) according to its performance, allowing for easy analysis and identification of underperforming regions, districts and sub-districts, as well as highlighting and sharing of best practices. If an intervention does not attain the national target, actions are identified to improve and sustain performance, and progress of the action is tracked through the online scorecard tool. Produced quarterly, the scorecards use nationally available data to guide actions that will have a positive impact on health outcomes.
Ghana is a leader in the continent when it comes to collecting health data and taking appropriate action through the scorecard. The scorecard management tool has tremendous potential to strengthen the use of data to improve health outcomes.
During last week’s workshops, MOH and GHS updated scorecard indicators, identified opportunities for strengthening the use of the tool at all levels, and trained stakeholders on how to access and use the tool. The Minister of Health and Director General reaffirmed the country’s commitment to strengthen the use of scorecards to empower Directors and Managers to make evidence-based decisions and continue supporting underperforming regions, districts and sub-districts.
The country also developed a plan to create a community scorecard that will be used to gather feedback and guide decision making processes between service providers and community members. The community scorecards will be linked to Ghana’s Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) initiative. CHPS is a national strategy to deliver essential community-based health services with the active involvement of communities. The community scorecard is expected to be launched later this year.
As a member of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA), Ghana is among the 29 African nations that have developed and rolled out scorecards for RMNCAH and malaria, under the request of the Heads of State, and with funding support from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF). Plans are underway to support the remaining countries to rollout their national scorecards.
ALMA, founded in 2009, is a coalition of 49 African Heads of State and Government working to eliminate malaria by 2030. ALMA keeps malaria elimination and RMNCAH high on the agendas of national and regional governments and international organizations like the African Union, the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the World Bank.
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