Post by Guillaume Mukenge HC3 Senior Program Officer/SBCC Technical Advisor
In Dixinn, a neighborhood in Conakry, Guinea, the Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3) held an event on September 1 to award the local health center with a “gold star” for its quality services.
This is just one of many health centers in post-Ebola Guinea to receive the quality brand, entitled “Etoile d’Or,” or Gold Star, to rebuild both trust in the health system and the quality of care received. This campaign that includes radio, television, billboards and community events is a collaboration between HC3, Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) and the Ministry of Health.
Since 2012, Jhpiego has identified and assisted health facilities to meet quality criteria for service through a months-long accreditation process. Once accredited, a health facility receives a “gold star,” which is prominently displayed both inside and outside the facility. HC3’s work in Guinea incorporates evidence-based social and behavior change communication (SBCC), capacity-building and quality-improvement interventions to help citizen understand the significance of the gold star and in turn promote uptake of health services.
The event in Dixinn brought together local health authorities, health providers, religious leaders, NGOs, community health workers and local radio stations. A new billboard with smiling health providers has replaced the old one, which was simply a goldstar. HC3’s first step in developing the campaign was redesigning the logo, which incorporates the gold star with a photo of two smiling male and female Guinean nurses inside, along with the slogan, “High quality services, your health is guaranteed!”
Health workers were reminded of their main roles of welcoming clients, giving them the right information and making sure they are not paying for free services such as immunization, mosquito nets and child delivery. Many clients attended the event and enjoyed learning about the health center’s new high ranking. Odia Traore one of the clients who witnessed the event reported, “What I have learned is that whenever you have any health problem, always go to the health center. From the image on the billboard there are two smiling health providers sending a strong message that are there to take care of you.” She went on to say she would like to encourage HC3 to continue the campaign.
Currently there are 15 health facilities with a golden star. HC3 is working with MCSP to identify more health structure to be designated with the Gold Star brand. By promoting the brand nationally, HC3 hopes to inspire non-Gold Star facilities to strive to achieve the same high-quality standards that Guineans desire and deserve.