The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has handed over a 25-seater pontoon boat to the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to increase health care access in the Volta Region.
The medical boat, according to the Ghana Mission Director of the USAID, Sharon Cromer was created to give healthcare to about 141 island communities in Kpando, Krachi West and Biakoye districts.
The boat is equipped with comfortable seating, two washrooms, medical supplies, radio transmitter and receiver as well as safety features such as navigation lights and life jackets.
Sharon Cromer explained the boat will improve on the GHS’s Community-Based Health Planning and Services by bringing health care to the doorstep citizens in along the Volta Lake.
She urged community members to be active participants in health services, explaining, “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,” she added.
Locally made with a secure structural design, GHS and USAID designed the boat to withstand the conditions on Lake Volta.
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.
Deputy Minister of Health, Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu was joined by other high-level members of both the GHS, Volta Regional Ministry, Chiefs and community members from Kpando, Krachi West and Biakoye districts to commemorate the occasion in Akosombo in the Eastern region.
The boat will provide life-saving services to historically hard-to-reach island communities.
Health care workers, with the help of the boat, 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.