Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Isaac Luginaah


Ghana introduced Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) to improve poor health in rural areas. Research in the Upper West Region (UWR) has found poor health is related to degrading social fabric. Recent research suggests the existence of health services in rural, developed contexts increases community sustainability and can be understood through the capitals framework. This study applies the framework to understand the contribution of CHPS to community sustainability and health in the UWR. The region lacks reliable ambulance services; in response, communities have adopted Community-initiated Emergency Transport Services (CETS). The study uses the existence of CETS as a measure of sustainability and gathers details on why some communities have sustained CETS while others have not. Key informant interviews (7), focus groups (12), and in-depth interviews (25) were conducted in 6 communities. Findings suggest CHPS influences health and sustainability through reinforcement of social capital, changes to human capital, and economic gains, and community mobilization is suggested as an important influence on adoption and sustainment of CETS. The study demonstrates the benefits of CHPS as improving social fabric, and reveals novel details surrounding CETS.

Key Words: Community Health, Community Sustainability, Rural Health, Capitals Framework, Ghana