The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) is to conduct a nationwide survey to gather information on the health status of the citizenry in relation to their age brackets.
Known as the Ghana Health and Demographic Survey (GHDS), it will sample the views of scientifically identified populations for information on their health status, age brackets, nutrition, immunisation, maternal health, among others.
The 90-day exercise, which will begin on Monday, October 17, 2022, will sample the views of 13,577 women and 5,812 men of the reproductive age from 18,540 households across the country.
The survey, which will be the seventh, after the last one was conducted in 2014, is estimated to cost $4.2 million.
More than 200 enumerators and officers will gather data from the field until January 24, 2023, taking into consideration the Christmas and the New Year festivities and holidays.
The GHDS is a population and health-related survey to guide the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service (GHS) on interventions to solve challenges.
It cuts across maternal and child health, malaria, vaccination, fertility, family planning, nutrition status of mothers and children, child marriage, water and sanitation, toilet facilities, salt consumption, among others.
The GSS has already identified 618 clusters in the 16 regions where inferences will be made.
Launching the survey in Winneba in the Effutu municipality in the Central Region yesterday, the Government Statistician, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim, said the exercise would be a “life-saving opportunity for us”.
He said the GHDS started in 1988, with a five-year period interval, and that although there had been slips, the GSS was going into the field to undertake the seventh one.
Prof. Annim said the targeted number of households was representative of the population the GSS had from the perspective of the eight million households that were captured during the 2021 Population and Housing Census (PHC).
He added that the GHDS would update statistics from demographic, social, economic and health-related issues.
Also, he said, the survey was to assess the determinants of maternal and neonatal issues around mobility and mortality, which he said were critical to the work.
During the 2021 PHC, he said, the GSS mounted data monitors to check data in real time and developed a dashboard to monitor data, saying the GHDS would incorporate that and also take it a notch higher.
On dissemination, he said the GSS would ensure that results were ready in record time.
The Programme Manager of the National Malaria Control Programme, Dr Keziah Malm, said she was grateful that malaria indicators would be captured under the GHDS.
The Director of the Family Health Division of the GHS, Dr Kofi Issah, also said the exercise was important for national development efforts.
The Director of Field Operations of the GSS, Dr Peter Peprah, said the programme was being funded by the government, in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development, the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Population Fund, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the Global Fund.