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Working with the Private Health Sector in Ghana to Improve Service Delivery


  • Private health care providers in Ghana could do more to treat diarrhea and malaria and provide family planning, neonatal and child health services
  • Abt Global developed a family planning curriculum for pharmacists, improved private health providers’ access to finance
  • With our technical assistance, a local manufacturer launched the first co-packaged oral rehydration solution and zinc product for diarrhea management in Ghana
The Challenge

The Ghanaian government, partnering with USAID, seeks to improve private sector expertise in providing quality health services, including access to diarrhea treatment for children.

The Approach

In September 2015, USAID Ghana awarded Abt Global an Associate Award (AA) under the USAID supported Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) leader mechanism. The project, called USAID SHOPS, followed four years of work in Ghana by the SHOPS project building the capacity of private sector providers to deliver quality family planning, maternal, neonatal and child health, and malaria services.

The project is working on:

  • Strengthening the skills and knowledge of private health providers to offer quality services;
  • Increasing private providers’ access to finance; and
  • Strengthening regulation of private providers and improving access to private sector data for decision-making.
The Results

The SHOPS project in Ghana made great strides in its goals. Achievements include:

  • Through technical assistance provided by the project, Phyto-Riker, a local manufacturer, launched the first co-packaged oral rehydration solution (ORS) and zinc product for diarrhea management in Ghana. It distributed more than 20.5 million dispersible zinc tablets, including 3,300 packs of new co-packaged products;
  • The project worked with the association of drug shops to distribute 40,000 malaria rapid diagnostic test kits to retail outlets at subsidized prices. A local manufacturer, SD Bioline, produced more than 10 percent of the kits and distributed 120,300 at commercial prices to private hospitals, clinics, laboratories, pharmacies, and drug shops. To ensure the kits are used appropriately, the SHOPS project conducted 1,400 supportive supervision visits;
  • SHOPS in Ghana developed a curriculum for training community pharmacists on short-acting family planning methods and counseling. It trained 1,445 pharmacists and equipped them with supplemental materials, including flip charts, medical eligibility criteria wheels, new national protocols, cycle beads, and more;
  • The project – working with USAID’s loan guarantee program – trained account officers and managers from 50 facilities of the Christian Health Association of Ghana in business and financial management. It assisted 15 health facilities with loan applications, which are under review by Fidelity Bank; and
  • We funded the training of data entry clerks and the conversion of all the 1,411 health facilities paper files into an electronic database to improve record management.