Akosombo, GHANA— On December 18 2018, the United States of America through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Ghana Mission Director, Sharon Cromer, joined the Honorable Deputy Minister of Health, Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu, for the handover of a 25-seater boat to the Ghana Health Service (GHS). Funded by the United States Government, the medical boat will increase access to health services to the island communities in the Volta Region. High-level members of both the GHS and Volta Regional ministry joined chiefs and community members from Kpando, Krachi West and Biakoye districts to commemorate the occasion.
USAID supports primary health care service delivery in Ghana, including maternal and child health services through the Community-based Health and Planning Services (CHPS) model. The boat will provide life-saving services to historically hard-to-reach island communities. The pontoon boat will improve access to health care for 141 island communities in Kpando, Krachi West and Biakoye districts. Health care workers will be able to deliver services to island communities and transfer patients to health facilities on the mainland when referrals are required. The boat will also deliver essential health commodities, support health-related immunization campaigns, and provide disaster relief on the islands.
In her remarks, USAID Ghana Mission Director Cromer urged community members to be active participants in health services, stating, “Ultimately, the success of CHPS is rooted in community ownership and self-reliance. It is the responsibility of every citizen to be engaged in CHPS services. This includes the upkeep of the boat and the maintenance of the CHPS compound where you access care.”
Locally made with a secure structural design, GHS and USAID designed the boat to withstand the conditions of Lake Volta. The boat is equipped with comfortable seating, two washrooms, medical supplies, and radio transmitter and receiver as well as safety features such as navigation lights and life jackets. The first of its kind in Ghana, this vessel will serve as a blueprint for the manufacture of future medical boats in the country.
USAID is the lead U.S. government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. USAID has supported Ghana in increasing food security, improving basic health care, enhancing access to quality basic education, and strengthening local governance to benefit all Ghanaian people.