Data Collection in Ghana for PhD Thesis
The WHO Collaborating Centre UTS financially supported a data collection trip to Ghana from March to August 2016 for UTS international student, Philip Ayizem Dalinjong. This data collection was carried out as part of Philip’s research for his PhD thesis, entitled “The impact of the free maternal health policy on access to maternal health services and health outcomes in the Kassena-Nankana Municipality of Ghana”.
The Kassena-Nankana municipality of Ghana was the determined area for data collection which was cleared from the Navrongo Health Research Centre, Ghana and subsequently ratified by the UTS Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC). In addition, the study gained permission from the management of the various health institutions in the study area. To facilitate movement across the municipality, two motorbikes were rented and used for the data collection.
Two research assistants were recruited to assist in collecting the quantitative data. The research assistants were trained in the aims and objectives of the study as well as the study tools for a period of three days. The study tools were also piloted to ensure they capture data accurately.
The thesis involved the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods.
The quantitative component comprised of the use of structured questionnaire among women who gave birth in health facilities and at home of which four hundred and six participated. The quantitative study made use of tablets as this was considered to be cost and time efficient, compared to paper-based data collection.
On the other hand, the qualitative aspect consisted of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions which were mainly collected by the investigator. Thirty-two in-depth interviews were conducted among health providers, directors of the Ghana health service, as well as health insurance managers of the National Health Insurance Scheme who represented the district, regional and national levels of the health sector of Ghana. The focus group discussions were held with ten women who gave birth in health facilities and at home.
Philip’s thesis aims to examine the factors that affect access to maternal health services under the free maternal health policy of the National Health Insurance Scheme in Ghana. It also seeks to understand the trend of maternal deaths and skilled attendance at birth under the operation of the free maternal health policy.
Philip Ayizem Dalinjong is an international student from Ghana who is currently enrolled at the Faculty of Health, University of Technology Sydney, for a Doctor of Philosophy degree (PhD). Philip was awarded the UTS International Research Scholarship and the UTS President’s Scholarship for his PhD training, which commenced on 25th March 2015.