The people of Pigbengben in Wa West District are concerned about the inability of pregnant women and children to access timely healthcare services due to lack of a treatment centre.
Patients and even travellers have to trek more than seven kilometres on a bumpy road, either to access healthcare or additional social services, in adjoining communities, according to local residents.
The situation even becomes terrible during the raining season during which the muddy road becomes slippery and put several passengers and other road users at a greater risk.
In an interview, a resident of Pigbengben, Aishatu Yakubu, complained that pregnant women had to be transported in a tricycle to neighbouring health centre to receive skilled delivery services.
Pigbengben is a farming community with more than 700 inhabitants, but it is deprived of basic infrastructure and social amenities, notably health centre, motorable road network and school.
Despite the absence of a health facility, community leaders have made it a policy that any pregnant woman who delivered at home would be fined, at least GH¢200.00.
Yakubu recalled an instance of one night when the wife of a local chief in labour was carried on Motor king (tricycle), which broke down on the way, putting the patient in serious danger.
She said the pregnant woman was successfully carried to the Vieri Health Centre for safe delivery, but others were not that lucky.
To her, the only lasting solution to their plight was for the community to have a health facility but unfortunately, their persistent cry over the years have yielded no response from authorities.
“We have been crying for CHPS Compound for a very long time but our cry is not heard,” she said.
The community members have decided to contribute GH¢20.00 each for men and GH¢10.00 for women to construct their own structure without relying on political authorities.
A community leader, Yakubu Ankah, decried the absence of a health facility for the growing community and the transportation of pregnant women on tricycles.
He said there was an instance where a woman was being transported to the nearby facility but unfortunately the baby died along the way.
He said the horrible experience provoked their decision to initiate the self-help project to construct a health facility for themselves.
According to him, the District Chief Executive had pledged to help the community with roofing sheets and cement towards the completion of the structure but appeared to have reneged on his promise.
“Since he came and gave us that promise, he never came back here. And he has not told us anything too. But the woods are there, they are getting rotten,” Mr Ankah said.
The Wa West DCE, Mr Edward Laabiri Sabo, earlier told the press at Wechiau that materials for the completion of the self-help project were ready, but did not say when it would be delivered to the community.
Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires that countries signatories to the goals, achieve good health and well-being for its citizens by 2030.
Ghana has been implementing the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) concept to ensure timely access to primary healthcare to the people in efforts to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
In spite of this initiative, access to healthcare service in many communities still remain a privilege rather than a right.
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