The Maternal and Child Healthcare Improvement Project Coordinator at The Hunger Project Ghana, Stephanie Ashley has stated that, training of the 60 community volunteers or animators is pivotal to THP-Ghana’s pursuit to aid reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality especially in Rural Ghana where the issue is very worrying. Speaking exclusively to Rainbow Radio, the Project Coordinator emphasized that these trained community volunteers will complement the efforts of the 15 community Health Nurses(whose have been equipped with skills in offering long term Family planning services, Community Infant and Young Child Feeding and Maternal and Child Health Services)who are being trained as midwife assistants to address the shortage of midwives at Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds in three regions across the country.
As part of The Hunger Project’s holistic, women-centered, community-led developmentpolicy, this project supports work in 11 districts across three regions in Ghana – Eastern, Volta and Central – with funding from the Else-Kroner-Fresenius Foundation over the next two years. Communities will work to improve maternal and child health by providing maternal and child care services in sub-districts to address the shortage of midwives.Though The Hunger Project-Ghana in partnership with the Ghana Health Services (GHS) have commenced the two year project to address the shortage of midwives at Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compounds, they still believe the number is no competition for the threat that maternal and child deaths poses, hence the resolution to train additional60 Volunteers to assist the CHN fight the prevalent canker that is dominant in rural communities.
As the mindset of dependency and gender discrimination starts to transform, and women and men commit themselves to a new future, The Hunger Project Ghana empowers volunteers to build the social capital they need to fulfill their vision. Each Animator (Community Volunteers) unit is trained in how to organize themselves, facilitate group action and reporting, communicate and handle decision-making. The Hunger Project has discovered that volunteers are often most motivated and inspired by working alongside others who share similar interests and characteristics. The 60 community volunteers according to the Project Coordinator after their training will work alongside the Community Health Nurses and THP-Ghana’s Epicenter officers to handle issues of maternal and child related complications as well as educating community members on the importance of IYCF practises.