Prevention: Better than cure...

2018 January



 Activities held in NOVEMBER 2017

Picture: Some Kayayei in a group photo after their start-up training to become family planning peer educators and distributors of health protection products (Credit HealthKeepers Network)





Key activities implemented by HealthKeepers Network (HKN) in November 2017 are outlined below. The report has been organized under the headings: Recruitment, Training, Supervision, Outreaches, and Supplies. It also includes some other activities that were undertaken during the reporting month.


In November, HKN held three recruitment sessions to select HealthKeepers in the North Tongu and Mion Districts and Kayayei in the La-Nkwanang District and the Accra Metro Area.  During recruitment, participants were briefed on the HKN program, its benefits to them, their families and their community when they join the program; and what would be expected of them. In all, 79 CBDs were recruited in the four 4 districts visited as shown in detail in Table 1 below.


Table 1: Category of CBDs recruited, their numbers and their districts

DistrictCategory of Community-based Distributor (CBDs)Number of CBDS
North TonguHealthKeepers5914
La NkwantanangKayayei1414
AMA (Agbobloshie Zongo)Kayayei77
AMA (Mallam Atta)Kayayei99



Six (6) start-up training was held in November. One of the training was organized for HealthKeepers, four for Youths-in-School and one for Kayayei (Youth-out-of-School) as shown in Table 2 below. Of this number of training, two were held in the Savelugu-Nanton District and one in the Mion District both in the Northern region. And in the Volta region, one training was held in Akatsi South district, one in North Tongu district and one in Central Tongu. A total of 264 participants were trained.


Table 2: Number of CBDs Trained

DateDistrictCategory of CBDsNumber of CBDS Trained     



16/11/17Youth Peer Educators202040
17/11/17MionYouth Peer Educators182240
22/11/17Akatsi SouthYouth Peer Educators202040
23/11/17North TonguYouth Peer Educators152540
24/11/17Central TonguYouth Peer Educators192342




The training for HealthKeepers in November was held in the Savelugu Nanton District for 22 participants made up of eight (8) females and fourteen (14) males. The participants who were recruited from existing Health volunteer groups were drawn from thirteen (13) communities under the Pong-Tamale and Diare sub-districts. The communities are Nakpanzoo, Nabugu, Ying, Pong-Tamale, Tibali, Tunaayili, Pigu, Kukuobila, Kpalung, Diare, Disiga, Dipali, and Adaayili.

The training was also attended by three (3) Community Health Nurse from two Health Centers where the volunteers work. These Community Health Nurses are expected to assist HKN in supervising the activities of the volunteers since they are in the communities with them and report any challenges to HKN.


In collaboration with the District Health Directorate and District Education Services, HKN successfully undertook five (5) Youth Peer-Educators training in November as shown in Table 3 below.

Table 3: Youth Peer Educators training in November by HKN

Date of training




Participating schools

Number of participants
16th November



1. Experimental Junior High School,

2. Yoo R/C Junior High School and

3. Rawdatulatful Junior School.

17th NovemberMion

1. Sang Zakaria Primary and Junior High School,

2. Sang Girls Model Junior High School,

3. ST. Anthony R/C Primary,

4. Burhan Deen Islamic Primary and

5. Sang ISL. Junior High School.

22nd NovemberAkatsi South

1. Yaluvi Basic School,

2. Live Basic School,

3. Atidzive D/A Basic school and

4. Monome D/A Basic School.

23rd NovemberNorth Tongu

1. Battor D/A Junior High school,

2. Mepe R/C Junior High School,

3. Presby Junior high school and

4. United D/A Methodist Junior High School

24th NovemberCentral Tongu

1. Adidome Senior High School and

2. Manfi-Kumase Senior High Technical School



Most of the students who participated in the training were recruited from existing but dormant Adolescent School Clubs.  Their training was attended by District Public Health Nurses, District School Health Education Promotion (SHEP) Coordinators and Girls Education Officers. Also in attendance during the training were teachers, one each from a school where the students were selected from. The teachers are expected to organize and monitor activities of the peer educators in their school to sustain interest.

Photos 1a &1b: left – training of some students and (right) some newly trained Youth Peer Educators



Start-up training for the first batch of Kayayei HealthKeepers began in November 2017. It was held for two (2) days at the Ghana Registered Nurses Association Guest House in Accra. Participants were from Mallam Atta, Old Fadama, Agbogbloshie Zongo, Darkuman, and Madina. In all forty -two (42) Kayayei whose ages ranged from 15 to 28 years participated in the training.

Also in attendance were Executives from the Kayayei Youth Association and leaders of the Kayayei communities. They took turns to talk to the Kayayei about the benefits of the Kayayei HealthKeeper program and encouraged them to give it their best shot. One of the leaders informed them that they should not listen to ridicule from their peers and other people in their communities as the program could be the start of great things for them.

A pre-test was administered to ascertain the participants’ knowledge before the training. Some of the topics discussed during the training, included Adolescence and the changes that occur during that period, Menstruation, Pregnancy, consequences of Teenage Pregnancy, STIs, Abstinence, Family Planning, and its benefits, Available methods in Ghana with emphasis on the Oral contraceptive pills and condoms and USAID Family Planning Compliance.

Use was made of group exercises and presentations to build participant’s capacity to educate their peers effectively. The facilitator also used demonstrations and contextual illustrations to ensure a deeper understanding of the topics discussed. Notably, almost all participants admitted it will be difficult to abstain and thus were more interested in the family planning methods. Facilitators took time to clarify a number of misconceptions, particularly about the long-term methods. Participants were implored to always talk about the benefits of family planning and how it affects their immediate community and the nation at large.

Photo 2a & 2b: Kayayei listening to their facilitator during their training

Participants were also then taken through HKN’s reporting and referral forms. They were grouped according to their communities and given case studies to practice.  A post-test administered after the training showed there was knowledge transfer.

Photos 3a &3b: Some Kayayei in group discussions during their training

The last activity on the agenda was the supply and supervision of the products. The facilitator for this session explained HKN’s policies on product supply and distribution. She stressed on proper handling and storage of the products and also their appearance when they go out to sell. Together with participants, they cross-checked their initial products supplied against their invoices to ensure that everything was correct and in good order before taken custody. They were also taken through how to pay their product loans using mobile money. Some questions asked by the Kayayei during their training are listed below:

  • Why do some women cease menstruating when they are on the injectable?
  • Why do some people become infertile after they stop using family planning?
  • Is it okay when one reaches adolescence and does not have sex?
  • Why is it that some women experience painful menstruation in older age relative to when they are young?



The field supervision team of HKN scheduled and visited seventeen (17) Districts/Municipalities across all the five project regions during the month under review. Overall the team visited sixteen (16) HealthKeepers groups, nine (9) OTCMS groups, two (2) StationGuard/Barber groups and one (1) Youth Peer Educator group. Table 4 below is a table with details of the monitoring visits.

Table 4: HKN monitoring visits in November

Date of VisitRegionDistrict/MunicipalityType of Agent Visited
4/11/17NorthernWest MamprusiHealthKeepers
7/11/17VoltaAkatsi SouthHealthKeepers
9/11/17VoltaKetu SouthHealthKeepers
10/11/17VoltaAdakluYouth Peer Educators
10/11/17VoltaSouth TonguOTCMS
15/11/17VoltaAkatsi SouthOTCMS
16/11/17VoltaKetu SouthOTCMS
22/11/17CentralAwutu Senya EastOTCMS
27/11/17Greater AccraGa WestHealthKeepers
28/11/17Greater AccraGa EastHealthKeepers
29/11/17WesternWassa EastHealthKeepers
30/11/17WesternTarkwa NsuaemHealthKeepers


The field team inspected the baskets/bags of CBDs to ascertain at first-hand the situation on the ground. It is refreshing to note that all the agents visited had their baskets in good conditions and the commodities also well kept. All CBDs were reminded about the USAID family planning compliance.

They were also given onsite refresher education on some of the major topics taught during the training period. Topics such as how Secure® oral contraceptive pills are used, which clients should not be given the Secure® pill, what to do if one misses a pill, benefits of family planning and how to wear male condom, etc. are usually discussed during such field trips.


Outcomes of the supervisions

  • HealthKeepers in the Mion and Karaga districts have made a great start in their community-based family planning programming. During the supervision visit, it was noticed that most of them had sold their commodities and were also educating people.
  • The majority of them also completed and submitted their reporting M&E and referral forms.
    • Out of 28 HealthKeepers trained in the Mion district, the team visited 24 of them in 11 communities in the district. All the 24 visited submitted their M&E forms. Half of the number visited bought commodities like CD condoms, Secure® pills, ORS and Zinc tablets.
    • In the Karaga district, HKN trained 24 HealthKeepers. During the field visit, 21 of them were met. All 21 HealthKeepers submitted their M&E forms and 9 referral forms. All the referrals were for the injectable method.
  • The youth peer educators visited in Adaklu were taken through HKN’s reporting forms and encouraged to continue the adolescent education with their peers and document their activities on the HKN reporting form.



Two community outreaches were organized in November in the Central Tongu and Sagnerigu districts. Both outreaches were organized in collaboration with the District Health Directorates, Chief, Elders, Assemblymen and other identifiable and influential groups in the host community.

Outcome from Central Tongu Outreach

  • The outreach in the Central Tongu District was held at Mafi Zongo. It was attended by One hundred and seventy-four (174) community members made up of one hundred and twenty-three (123) females and fifty-one (51) males.
  • The services offered at the outreach included but not limited to family planning education and counseling, HIV testing and counseling, Blood pressure and body mass index measurements
  • One hundred and forty-three (143) community members made up of thirty (30) males and one hundred and thirteen (113) females were counseled on family planning during the outreach.
  • One hundred and fifty-nine (159) persons took the voluntary HIV test. Three (3) persons i.e. a male and two females tested positive. They were referred to the Adidome Hospital.
  • Twenty-one (21) trained HealthKeepers were present to receive their certificates.

Outcome of the Sagnerigu Outreach

  • The outreach in Sagnerugu Districts was held at Gurugu in front of the Chief’s palace. Amongst the invited guests was the Gurugu Chief Naa Issaka Neidow and eight of his elders and Mrs. Augustine Maami the in charge at the Choggu Health Center.
  • Seventy-five (75) community people made up of 25 males and 53 females and fifteen (15) HealthKeepers from the district attended the program.
  • Fifty-five (55) people (10 males and 45 females) accessed family planning counseling.
  • Seventy (70) people did the HIV test and counseling. No positive case was recorded at the outreach.

Some questions asked during the outreach

  • Why do some people experience itches when they use a condom?
  • Can the male condom get stuck inside the vagina?
  • Can pre- ejaculation impregnate a woman?
  • Can the implants get lost in the arm?



Resupply of commodities to CBDs continued in November 2017. The supply team visited 27 districts/municipalities. A total CYP contribution of 4,442.33 was made from the condom and oral contraceptive pills distribution in November. Tables 5 and 6 below provide a breakdown in CYP contributions and the places visited for resupplies in the month.

Table 5:  HKN CYP Contributions

DateNo Logo condomsProtector condomsTotal for condomsOral contraceptives PillsMonthly Total
1-30 Nov. 2017  270 53.33 323.33  4,119.00  4,442.33
HKN’s Total CYP contributions from June 2013 to 30th November 2017432,812.23


Table 6: Details of resupply visits in November 2017

 DATERegionDistrict/ MunicipalityCategory Of Community Agents





1/11/17Greater AccraAccra Barbers
2/11/17Greater AccraAda East HealthKeepers/OTCMS
8/11/17CentralAwutu-Senya WestHealthKeepers/OTCMS
8/11/17Greater AccraLEKMAHealthKeepers/ OTCMS
9/11/17Greater AccraAshiamanHealthKeepers
13/11/17Greater AccraGa SouthHealthKeepers
14/11/17Ga SouthOTCMS
16/11/17CentralGomoa EastHealthKeepers
16/11/17VoltaKetu SouthOTCMS
22/11/17TolonOTCMS /HKS
23/11/17Greater AccraAdenta HealthKeepers
24/11/17Gomoa WestHealthKeepers
27/11/17Greater AccraGa WestHealthKeepers/OTCMS
27-30/11/17WesternShama/Tnma/Stma/Wassa EastOTCMS/ HealthKeepers/ StattionGuards
28/11/17Greater AccraGa EastHealthKeepers
29/11/17CentralAgona EastHeathKeepers/OTCMS
30/11/17CentralAwutu-Senya East OTCMS


  • 1st and 2nd November: HKN participated in USAID HPNO and its IP meeting
  • 13th November: HKN participated in a meeting between USAID/Washington, USAID Ghana, PSI and HKN on FP commodities supply chain issues.



HealthKeepers Network community-based family planning and HIV prevention project is going according to the work plan and on track to achieving its overall goal. HKN greatly values the management and technical assistance it is obtaining from JSI-RTI and USAID-Ghana as well as the funding support of USAID, its partnerships with the various MMDAs, MoH/GHS, Ghana Education Services, GAC and others which has made such progress possible. Thank you.









HealthKeepers Network

monthly UPDATES:

Activities held in DECEMBER 2017

Picture: A Public Health Nurse in Karaga District Educating Community Members on the use of Cycle Beads (Credit HKN)                                                                                                                                                                                   4TH JANUARY, 2018



  1. TRAINING: Youth in School

In December, HKN in collaboration with the Karaga and Sagnarigu Districts Education Service and Health Directorate organized two trainings on Adolescent and Sexual Reproductive Health for a total of 80 youths-in-school to become Youth Peer-Educators (YPEs) in their schools. The trainings were held in Karaga and Sagnarigu Districts. In Karaga, a total of 40 students (15 males and 25 females) participated in the training. They were drawn from Karaga Girls Model J.H.S; Karaga D/A J.H.S; Karaga R/C J.H.S and; Ishadia E/A J.H.S.

The participating schools in the Sagnarigu District were Choggu Yapalsi J.H.S; Kanvilli R/C J.H.S; Gumani Hassaniya J.H.S; and Bagabaga J.H.S. A total of 40 students made up of 20 males and 20 females benefitted from the training. The two trainings were observed by the Karaga and Sagnarigu Districts Public Health Nurses, District School Health Education Promotion (SHEP) Coordinators and Girls Education Officers.  Also in attendance were eight (8) teachers, one from each school where participants were selected from. The teachers are expected to supervise the activities of the youth peer-educators in their school after their training. Table 1 below provides a summary of the trainings held in December.

Table 1: HKN trainings held in December

DateDistrictCategory of CBAsNumber of CBAs trained

The field supervision team scheduled and visited community-based agents in twelve (13) Districts/Municipalities/Metropolis across four (4) regions in December. In all nine (9) HealthKeeper groups, seven (7) Over-the-Counter Medicine Sellers (OTCMS) groups, three (3) Youth Peers Educators (YPEs) groups formed from 12 schools and one (1) Kayayei group were visited.

During the visits, the community-based agents were given onsite quizzes to test their knowledge and to refresh their memory in some of the essential topics on family planning and HIV prevention. E.g. who can take Secure® pill, what to do if one misses a pill or two, advantages of taking Secure® pills, benefits of family planning, advantages of condom use, how to wear condom among others topics. The rationale is to promote top of mind awareness on some of these topics to enable them to counsel their customers and give proper and correct feedbacks.

Also during the supervisory visits, the baskets and commodities of the CBDs were physically inspected to check for damages, stock-outs, expiry and products storage condition. Some of the HealthKeepers, OTCMS and Kayayei who needed new supplies of products including condoms and Secure® pills were restocked. Table 2 below provides a summary of places and the category of community-based agents visited in December.

Table 2: Supervisory visits undertaken in December.

Date of VisitRegionDistrict/MunicipalityType of Agent Visited
6/12/17Greater AccraGa SouthOTCMS
8/12/17CentralAgona EastHealthKeepers
8/12/17CentralAwutu Senya EastOTCMS
11/12/17VoltaSouth TonguOTCMS
12/12/17VoltaAdakluYouth Peer Educators
12/12/17NorthernSaveluguYouth Peer Educators
13/12/17NorthernMionYouth Peer Educators
13/12/17VoltaCentral TonguHealthKeepers
14/12/17NorthernWest MamprusiOTCMS/HealthKeepers
15/12/17VoltaSouth TonguHealthKeepers
19/12/17Greater AccraAccra MetroKayayei

Outcomes of Supervision

  1. HealthKeepers and OTCMS
  • It was found out that the HealthKeepers and OTCMS are not only selling products and providing consumer information on these products but are still educating their community members on family planning and HIV prevention.
  • One HealthKeeper in the Savelugu-Nanton district, Issah was seen at the Pong Tamale night market educating the youth there on condom use. He mentioned that most of the young people gather at the night marketplace during that time so he takes advantage of it.

Picture 1: HealthKeepers Issah, educating some youth in Pong Tamale during the night market activities.

  • The presence of HealthKeepers in some communities in the Northern region is contributing to increase in the uptake of condoms and Secure® pills. For instance in the Mion district communities such as Nasoni, Bioyili, Adam kuraa, Mbatinga, Gnani, Naapachie the patronage of Secure® pills and Condoms by community members is on the rise. Similarly, in the Karaga district, communities like Gunaayili, Napoligu, Monkula, Kuduli, Komoayili, Nyengbalo and Nangungkpang have been patronizing the condoms and Secure® pills from HealthKeepers.


  • At Nasia in the West Mamprusi district, six (6) HealthKeepers whose baskets were damaged were replaced. They attributed the damages to the long distances they had to travel to serve customers in hard to reach communities.
  1. Youth in School (Link Up)

Nine (9) schools in the Savelugu-Nanton and Mion districts in the Northern region and three (3) schools in the Adaklu district in the Volta region were visited as shown in Table 3 below.

Table 3: Visits undertaken to Youth Peer Educators in-school


No, of schools, visitedNo. of students trainedNo. of students interacted withNo. of monitoring form submitted by YPEs
Savelugu- Nanton4402827

The team noted from monitoring forms collected from the Youth Peer Educators that most of them had started interacting with and educating their peers on adolescent health. A case in point is the story of Abdul Karim Abdallah, one of the Youth Peer Educators trained in Savelugu.

Abdul attends Rawdatul Atfal JHS Block B.  During a supervision visit to his school in December 2017, the field team learned from one of the teachers that he educates his peers by gathering them together in a group. He does it regularly so he has become known in the school for adolescent health education.

Picture 2: Abdul Karim Abdallah highlighted seating on the front row

Picture 2: Abdul Karim Abdallah highlighted seating on the front row

Abdul Karim educates his peers on teenage pregnancy and its effects, STIs, good hygiene and sexual reproductive rights of youths and usually refers questions that are beyond his capacity to his teachers to address. He doesn’t limit himself to only his schoolmates but also friends from other schools and those out of school.

  • Kayayei

The field team made their first visit to thirteen (13) Kayayei in Darkuman, Zongo and Old Fadama in December and interacted with them.  They are part of the first batch of Kayayei trained in the Accra Metro to become HealthKeepers. Their activities so far are encouraging and off to a great start.

All the 13 Kayayei reported educating their colleagues on family planning and HIV prevention. However, only two (2) of them submitted their M&E forms. The Kayayei were asked questions to make them recall counseling points on Secure® on Condoms. Most of them were able to answer correctly and demonstrated how they educate their clients. They were taken through the reporting forms and encouraged to record all their interactions.

Pictures 3: Supervision of some Kayayei from Old Fadama at Agbogbloshie

  • At the time of visit, 6 Kayayei out of the 13 had sold all their condom and Secure® pills and were re-stocked. Most of them made payments and were resupplied with commodities, however, some of them had barely sold any of their products. They mentioned that they were shy and people were calling them names etc. The leader of the Kayayei Youth association informed them to interact with each other often. He suggested that they could meet weekly and share successes and challenges so that those who are selling their products could assist those who are not able to sell to avoid stock-outs and expiry. They exchanged phone numbers and promised to do that.
  • The Kayayei indicated that there is demand for condoms but most of the people they interacted with prefer branded and scented condoms as they believe that those ones are of superior quality to the non-branded ones. That misconception was clarified and they were assured that they will soon be given USAID’s Protector Brand of condoms to distribute to meet those demands.
  • The involvement of Kayayei community leaders and leaders of their association in the supervision ensured that most of Kayayei were present during the visit and they came with their baskets neatly kept.
  • A visit has been scheduled in January for the Kayayei in Madina and Mallam Atta. In the meantime, phone calls were made to them to follow up and resolve any challenges that may have. None of them had recorded stock out.



Only one community outreach was organized in December. It was held in the Karaga district in front of the Karaga Naa’s palace. HKN organized the outreach in collaboration with the Karaga district health directorate, chief, elders, and assemblyman. Prior to holding the outreach, there were several discussions between the various stakeholders to make sure the planning and implementation of the community outreach were successful.

The services offered at the outreach included but not limited to family planning education and counseling, HIV testing and counseling, Blood pressure monitoring and Weight/Height measurement to check Body Mass Index. Seventeen (17) out of twenty-four (24) HealthKeepers trained in the District participated in the outreach and were presented with their certificates during the outreach. One hundred and fifty-nine (109 females and 50 males) community members attended the outreach.

Table 4: Details of Community Outreach

DateDistrictCategory of CBDsNumber of CBDS Trained

Picture 4: A community outreach organized by HKN in front of the Karaga Naa’s palace at Karaga, Northern Region.

Outcome from Karaga Outreach

  • All the 159 people who attended were counseled and provided with family planning and HIV prevention messages. The District Public Health Nurse Mr. Iddrisu Alhassan and his team demonstrated to them how to wear a condom, how to use cycle beads and oral contraceptives pills. The District health team also used the outreach as an opportunity to educate some students of Karaga Senior High School on Adolescent Health, good hygiene, and family planning.
  • One hundred and forty-four (144) persons tested for their HIV status, however, there was no positive cases.
  • Three (3) pregnant women and nine (9) women with babies under 2 years were registered during the outreach.

The supply team in December, visited all the categories of CBDs in 15 Districts/Municipalities as shown in detail in Table 5 below.

Table 5: Details of resupply visits in December 2017

 DateRegionDistrict/ MunicipalityCategory Of Community Agents


4-5/12/17CentralMfantsimanHealthKeepers/ OTCMS
6/12/17Greater Accra Adenta HealthKeepers
6/12/17 AdentaBarbers
8/12/17CentralAgona East HealthKeepers/ OTCMS
8/12/17Agona WestHealthKeepers
11/12/17VoltaSouth TonguOTCMS
11/12/17Greater AccraGa SouthHealthKeepers
12/12/17Ga EastHealthKeepers/OTCMS
12/12/17NorthernSaveluguYouth Peer Educators
13/12/17VoltaCentral TonguHealthKeepers
13/12/17NorthernMionYouth Peer Educators (YPE)
14/12/17NorthernWest MamprusiOTCMS/HealthKeepers


15/12/17South TonguHealthKeepers
19/12/17Greater AccraShai-Osudoko HealthKeepers



HKN’s total CYP contribution made from the condom and oral contraceptive pills distribution in December was 3,787.77. The breakdown is shown in Table 6 below.

Table 6:  HKN CYP Contributions

         Date No Logo condoms  Protector condoms Total for condoms  Oral contraceptives PillsMonthly Total
1-31 December  2017  592.80 54.67 647.47  3,140.31  3,787.77
HKN’s Total CYP contributions from1st June 2013 to 31st December, 2017436,600.01



12th December 2017: HKN participated in the Ghana Health Services led ICC/CS meeting.



HealthKeepers Network community-based family planning and HIV prevention project is going according to work plan and on track to achieving its overall goal. HKN greatly value the management and technical assistance it is obtaining from JSI-RTI and USAID-Ghana as well as the funding support of USAID, its partnerships with the various MMDAs, MoH/GHS, GES, GAC and others which has made such progress possible.

Thank you.

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