Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Print version ISSN 0042-9686
ABANILLA, Patricia Karen A et al. Cardiovascular disease prevention in Ghana: feasibility of a faith-based organizational approach. Bull World Health Organ [online]. 2011, vol.89, n.9, pp. 648-656. ISSN 0042-9686. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0042-96862011000900011.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the feasibility of using community health workers (CHWs) to implement cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention programmes within faith-based organizations in Accra, Ghana. METHODS: Faith-based organization capacity, human resources, health programme sustainability/barriers and community members' knowledge were evaluated. Data on these aspects were gathered through a mixed method design consisting of in-depth interviews and focus groups with 25 church leaders and health committee members from five churches, and of a survey of 167 adult congregants from two churches. FINDINGS: The delivery of a CVD prevention programme in faith-based organizations by CHWs is feasible. Many faith-based organizations already provide health programmes for congregants and involve non-health professionals in their health-care activities, and most congregants have a basic knowledge of CVD.Yet despite the feasibility of the proposed approach to CVD prevention through faith-based organizations, sociocultural and health-care barriers such as poverty, limited human and economic resources and limited access to health care could hinder programme implementation. CONCLUSION: The barriers to implementation identified in this study need to be considered when defining CVD prevention programme policy and planning.