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Ghana News

Limited Healthcare Capacity in Wa East District: A Challenge for Quality Healthcare Access

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The Wa East District in Ghana, home to about 93,000 residents, is facing a significant healthcare challenge due to the limited capacity of its facilities. With 48 primary healthcare centers, 38 Community-based Health Planning and Services compounds, and 10 health centers, the district cannot provide emergency obstetric and newborn care services. Patients requiring such services must be referred out of the district, which is challenging due to poor roads and telecommunication networks.

The lack of a secondary healthcare facility in the district has resulted in preventable deaths, especially among pregnant women. Last year alone, 388 cases were referred, half of which were pregnant women. The situation has led to fatal incidents such as the case of a woman who died while being transported to Wa for treatment, and Dr Pascal Kingsley Mwin had to perform an emergency operation with a razor blade to save the baby.

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The doctor-to-patient ratio in the district of 1:93,168, is also a significant challenge. The district relies on a single medical doctor to provide healthcare services, which is inadequate for a population of this size.

To address these challenges, the district has prioritized setting up a theatre space at the Bulenga Health Centre to enable them to provide theatre services while waiting for the upgrading of the facility to a polyclinic status. While the structure for the theatre has been identified, much work is yet to be done to complete the project, including the installation of glass doors, tiles, air-conditioning, lighting, and ceiling works. Dr Mwin has appealed for donor support to complete the project, which would significantly improve service delivery in the district and reduce the cost of referral.

The Wa East District Chief Executive, Dr Sulemana Ewurah Kandia Mahama, has provided two tricycle ambulances to two health facilities in deprived communities in the district – Hollomuni and Ducie communities – to improve access to healthcare. The Upper West Regional Youth Parliament has also donated GH₵5,000.00 to support the upgrading of the Bulenga Health Facility to a polyclinic status.

For the most part, the healthcare challenges faced by the Wa East District in Ghana require urgent attention to improve healthcare access and reduce preventable deaths. The upgrading of healthcare facilities and the provision of more medical staff and ambulances would go a long way in mitigating the challenges faced by residents of the district.

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