The Community Health Workers (CHWs) Exit Strategy for the Health Module of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has been launched in Accra.
Under the Module, all beneficiaries who exit the program would be given the opportunity to further train in either nursing or pharmacy assistant, after two years, based on the Module requirement while those who do not qualify will be given some money for entrepreneurship.
Speaking at the launch, yesterday, a Deputy Minister of Health, Madam Tina Mensah, explained that as a critical sector of the economy, the Ministry of Health existed to improve the health status of all people living in Ghana, thereby contributing to government's vision of universal health coverage and a healthy population.
According to Madam Mensah, the use of community health workers had been identified as one of the strategies to address the growing shortage of health workers, particularly in remote areas of the country as they could make valuable contribution to community development while improving access and providing personnel to communities with basic health services.
Madam Mensah urged all stakeholders to offer their support, so that with the YEA and the field support of the Ministry, they could curb the menace of unemployment to safeguard the future of the youth in the country.
Commenting on the exit plan program, the Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr Anthony Nsiah- Asare, expressed excitement about the new module of the YEA, saying it was in the right direction.
He noted that although the country's population was fast increasing, the number of health workers were limited and could not serve everyone, with those in the remote areas suffering from deprivation, adding that the new plan would enable rural communities access quality healthcare freely and on time.
The Chief Executive Officer of YEA, Lawyer Justun Kodua Frimpong, indicated that the rationale behind the CHWs Exit Strategy was to help beneficiaries on the CHWs module transition into sustainable employment.
Lawyer Frimpong said the plan was tailored to guide the assessment of beneficiary qualification abilities, skills and interests as well as prepare them as they sought to further their education or enter into the world of work.
He mentioned that beneficiaries per the end of the contract would be assisted to either further their education after an aptitude test and sent to the nursing training college or pharmacy training institute to become health assistants or pharmacy assistants, respectively, adding that the exit plan would be extended to other modules.
He explained that the GH₵ 50 deducted from their allowances of which GH₵ 45 was used as contributions into welfare fund with the remaining GH₵ 5 as insurance would be calculated and returned to all the 19,000 beneficiaries to assist them in purchasing their admission forms to further their education or establish a business for themselves.