The goal of the UHC Ghana Project was to develop a team of trainers in Ghana from National/Subnational Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who are capable of providing training on Domestic Health Financing (DHF), Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Budget Advocacy (BA) to civil society actors, media organizations and elected officials at the national level, and to provide support and mentoring to CSOs engaged in these activities in Ghana. We accomplished this goal in October 2021 with 16 CSO Leaders completing the training.
The UHC Ghana Trainers went through four training sessions in total: (1) Overview of Joint Learning Agenda; (2) UHC and the Right to Health In Ghana; (3) Budget Analysis and Advocacy; and (4) Operationalizing Advocacy. Upon completion, they were asked to develop plans for the Regions and Districts they have operations in.
Both LaMont “Montee” Evans, President/CEO – HBC Promised Ghana and John Eliasu Mahama, Member – People’s Health Movement/Ghana completed the World Health Organization’s Organization’s Online Course: Health Financing for Universal Health Coverage and WACI Health and Global Health Partners’ Anglophone Country Trainer of Trainers.
a promise to keep
UHC Ghana Goal: to develop a cadre of trainers in Ghana who are capable of providing training on health financing, UHC and budget advocacy to civil society actors, media organizations and elected officials at the Regional Level, and to provide support and mentoring to CSOs engaged in these activities.
Domestic Health Financing
Health financing refers to the “function of a health system concerned with the mobilization, accumulation and allocation of money to cover the health needs of the people, individually and collectively, in the health system… the purpose of health financing is to make funding available, as well as to set the right financial incentives to providers, to ensure that all individuals have access to effective public health and personal health care.” (WHO, 2000)
Universal Health Coverage
UHC means that all individuals and communities receive the health services that they need without suffering financial hardship. It includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and pallative care. UHC related policies relate to actions linked with Health Systems that include coverage, elimination of out-of-pocket expenses, etc.
“Budget Advocacy” is a strategic approach to influence governments’ budget choices, aimed at achieving clear and specific outcomes—e.g., healthier people, less poverty, or improved governance. Effective advocacy will build toward attaining them with smaller concrete steps, such as increased budget allocations and more solid oversight of how funds are spent.
What UHC Ghana is not…
Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is comprised of much more that just health; taking steps towards UHC means steps towards equity, development priorities, and social inclusion and cohesion. “Government recognizes that the Ghanaian people have to be healthy if we are to make meaningful progress in nation building, and, thereby, deliver dignified standards of living for all.” – Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana (2020 National Health Policy)
UHC does not mean FREE COVERAGE for all possible health interventions, regardless of the cost, as no country including Ghana can provide all services free of charge on a sustainable basis.
Just About Health Financing
UHC is not just about health financing. It encompasses all components of the Ghana health system: health service delivery systems, the health workforce, health facilities and communications networks, health technologies, information systems, quality assurance mechanisms, and governance and legislation.
Individual Treatment Services
UHC is not only about ensuring a minimum package of health services, but also about ensuring a progressive expansion of coverage of health services and financial protection as more resources become available.
Ensuring a Minimum Package of Health Services
UHC is not only about individual treatment services, but also includes population-based services such as public health campaigns, adding fluoride to water, controlling mosquito breeding grounds and so on.