Access to healthcare has become a major challenge for the people of Meehiboug, a farming community located in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region, due to the dilapidated nature of the Community Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound in the area.
The deteriorated structure, which is situated opposite the Gundork Junior High School (J.H.S), was constructed by Pastor Samuel Dagahit Naoh in 2006.
It was originally constructed to serve as a building for the sale of all kinds of provisions. Pastor Dagahit, who is also one of the opinion leaders in the Meehiboug community and former community health volunteer at the Zanlerigu Healthcare Center, then handed the structure over to the government in the ensuing year for it to be converted into a health facility for the people.
The conversion of the structure became necessary so as to save the people, especially pregnant women and lactating mothers, the hardship of trekking to Zanlerigu, Logre, Kongo, Pelungu and other distant communities to seek healthcare services.
Sadly, the facility has not been able to serve its intended purpose, as it finds itself in a deplorable condition; forcing pregnant women and lactating mothers to travel to Logre, Pelungu, Kongo and Zanlerigu for antenatal and prenatal care services.
Particularly worrying about the situation is that nurses have deserted the facility for fear of being beaten by rain.
Patricia Kongkolog, a lactating mother, expressed grave concern about her difficulty in accessing healthcare in the Meehiboug community due to the crumbling nature of the facility; adding that most of her colleagues travel to Pelungu, Zanlerigu, Logre and Kongo in order to access healthcare services.
She thus appealed to the appropriate authorities, including the Ghana Health Service, to do everything within its capacity to ensure healthcare was easily accessible to the people of Meehiboug.
“It is true that last two years we were attending Meehiboug Clinic… now the place is not good. And when it is sowing time the road is very bad. So, because of that those weighing the children feel laziness; the pregnant people also feel laziness, and even the Covid-19 that we are taking the vaccination some people didn’t take it because if you are going to talk of it, they are saying it’s far. So we are begging everyone, the Ghana Health Service, to look at it so that it will be like how it’s supposed to be,” she stated.
A visit by The Chronicle to the facility last Friday, uncovered that the structure was in a sorry state, with its walls full of cracks, and its roofs profusely leaking.
Martina Dittoh, a nurse, who formerly worked at the facility and is currently at the Woredaa CHPS compound, expressed her displeasure at the poor state of the facility, adding that rain used to fall on them anytime there was a downpour.
“We were even sitting down and when it’s raining it will be dropping on us while we are still there. I last said when they even ask me to come here, I will not come, because I’m tired,” she said sadly in an interaction with The Chronicle.
According to Martina Achiase, a Registered Nurse at the Gane Asonge CHPS compound, the Meehiboug community, a couple of months ago, identified a different structure as one fit for use for the provision of healthcare services, but was quick to add that the proposed structure was too small for that purpose.
According to Pastor Dagahit, his decision to hand over the facility to the government was borne out of the fact that nurses at the time were sitting under trees to render services. He said he saw the need to give the facility to government in a bid to prevent rain from destroying the documents of health personnel.
Since 2007 till now, he noted, the facility had not received any form of refurbishment, causing it to deteriorate alarmingly. The health personnel, he said, had abandoned the facility since 2021 in view of the fact that their documents were constantly being wet by rain.
Acknowledging the importance of good health to the growth and progress of every society, Pastor Dagahit beseeched the Nabdam District Chief Executive (DCE), Madam Agnes Anamoo, the Member of Parliament for Nabdam Constituency, Dr. Mark Kurt Nawaane, all assembly members, philanthropic organisations and all well-meaning Ghanaians to try, as much as possible, to find a place in the area for the nurses in order that pregnant women and lactating mothers in Meehiboug, Gundork, Kpale, Gaare and other nearby communities would have easy access to healthcare delivery.
Meanwhile, the Nabdam District Director of Health, Madam Mariam Mahama, in an interview with The Chronicle last Friday, disclosed that her outfit had deployed two nurses to the Meehiboug community to offer healthcare services, but quickly added that the said nurses were yet to report for duty. She disclosed that plans were far advanced to introduce the nurses to the community.
Regarding the poor state of the facility, Madam Mahama, while admitting that it was difficult for the Nabdam Health Directorate to construct a new facility for the people, indicated that she would welcome any Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that had a keen interest in helping the community get a new CHPS compound in order that healthcare delivery in Meehiboug would be greatly improved.
From Elijah Beyeni