The success of the Community-Based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) initiative is largely dependent on the critical role of the Community Health Officers (CHOs) as the frontline officers. The study sought to assess the effectiveness of the CHOs training programme in relation to its impact on CHOs performance in three selected districts in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana.
The study used cross-sectional research design employing both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Purposive sampling method was employed to gather relevant data from 108 CHOs in three districts, as well as eight key informants in charge of the CHOs training programme. Semi-structured questionnaire and interview guide were the tools employed to elicit information pertaining to training inputs for CHOs and key informants respectively. Also, checklists were used to gather data from non-participant observation for on-going training sessions and desk review of training documents. Quantitative data was analysed using SPSS Version 16.0 and with Microsoft Excel software aiding in calculating the mean scores for the Likert scale. Qualitative data was analysed by coding and analysing for main themes and ideas that were emerging. The analysis triangulates the data, with reflections on the responses from all the different data sources and across the three districts.
The study found that the content (modules) of the training programme was relevant to orient trainees to become change agents for health development with mean scores ranging from 4.4 to 4.9 in preventive, promotive, and curative health. Furthermore, highly effective interactive, learner-centred training methods were employed to deliver the training content with mean scores ranging from 4.5 to 4.8. Also, the application of adult learning practices during training sessions was found to be very relevant to enhance congenial learning environment for the realisation of the training outcomes. A majority (92.6%) of the CHOs indicated that the CHOs training programme equipped them with the necessary skills to perform their duties successfully. Also, majority (97.2%) of the respondents thought allocation of training resources were adequate to meeting training requirements, although training budgetary allocation was a concern sometimes.
In conclusion, the study found that the CHPS initiative has a comprehensive CHOs training programme in place which is well-designed to re-orient CHNs to CHOs position. Thus,
incorporating transfer of learning design into training porgrammes has a high propensity to ensuring effective mode of delivery to achieve training output and post-training performance for community health workers. The study therefore recommends among others that the duration for the training should be revised and have it extended. Also, more training manuals should be reproduced and made available to participants during training sessions. The various DHMTs should source for additional funding from NGOs and other international donor organisations to augment training subvention from the government to scale up the CHOs training programme and as well as to address the training challenges identified.
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