Community involvement in health care in Ghana: an evaluation of Brong Ahafo Rural Integrated Development Programme - Barided (1974-81)

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Since the Danfo Project - (a Joint Community Health and Family Planning project, initiated by the University of Ghana Medical School and University of California, Los Ange1es), community involvement and participation in the delivery of health care service and health programming has been recognized in Ghana to be an important factor in maintaining health systems and in sustaining community development. But what part community members should play and how they can be motivated and committed to initiate community health programmes have not been subjected to critical and empirical analysis. Recognizing the important role community members can play in health systems, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization - WHO, initiated a 5-year health project in the (former) Wenchi District in Brong -Ahafo region of Ghana, called THE BRONG AHAFO RURAL INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME, hereafter coded BARIDEP, or Baridep for short. The BARIDEP is a programme for studying and obtaining experience in “how activities for improvement of health can be integrated into the general development process based on the community development approach with the active involvement of local communities.”1 Moreover, it is a programme for evaluating the effects of such integration. The programme has two components viz, the Implementation component and the Research/Evaluating component. Responsibility for the former component rests solely with the Government of Ghana primarily through the Ministry of Health, whilst the Evaluating aspect is the joint responsibility of Ghana Government and the World Health Organization - WHO, with some assistance from the Swedish, International Development Agency - SIDA.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Regional Planning,