Institutional in-service training: a study of three polyclinics in the Accra Metropolitan Area

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
One of the goals of the Ministry of Health, Ghana is to promote health and prevent disease among the people of Ghana. In-service training has been identified as one of the strategies to be used to achieve this goal. In the Medium Term Health Strategy Towards Vision 2020, the need for a sustainable IST system to improve staff performance and hence quality care was emphasized. This was followed by the In-Service Training Policy, launched in 1997 by the Ministry of Health. A study was undertaken between August and November 2001, to determine if staff training need is being met, problems encountered in the organization of 1ST and the mode of evaluation of 1ST at three polyclinics (Adabraka, La, and Maamobi polyclinics) in the Accra Metropolitan Area. Primary data were collected using structured questionnaire administered to health workers and interview guides administered to heads of the polyclinic and 1ST coordinators at Maamobi polyclinic and at the regional and metropolitan training units. The health workers did not fully understand their role in the determination of training need. Only three (3) health workers were involved in the planning of IST at the polyclinics. The problems encountered in the organization of IST at all the three polyclinics were the same. IST programmes at the institutions were interrupted by external training programmes. Delays in the release of funds resulted in crash programmes being organized and invitations to attend training outside the polyclinics arrived late hence, the wrong caliber of staff were selected for the training. IGF was used for IST activities in the absence of GOG and DPF. A significant proportion of the health workers indicated lack of incentives (Maamobi 47.1 per cent, Adabraka 34.2 per cent and La 20.3 per cent) as one of the problems faced whilst attending IST. IST courses organized at the polyclinics were of a shorter duration and covered a larger proportion of health workers. Information on past IST activities at the polyclinics could not be traced because of the absence of well-organized training information system. There were no IST coordinators at Adabraka and La polyclinics but Maamobi polyclinic had an IST coordinator. Though other training facilities were available, the training unit at Adabraka needs to be upgraded. Evaluation of training was only done immediately after training and there was no schedule for subsequent evaluation. It is recommended that health staff would be trained to play a more effective role in training needs identification. Training funds are to be set up to enhance training programmes at the polyclinics. Standard evaluation schedules are to be formulated and training information systems are to be set up at all the polyclinics.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Community Health, School of Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of in Health Services Planning and Management, 2002