Health News of 2014-06-30

Angry patients boycott Volta health centre

At a time when health facilities in city centres are reeling under the pressure of high patient attendance, persons in search of medical care at Volo in the Volta region have boycotted the Volo Health Centre over the irregular supply of drugs to the facility and constraints facing health workers.

For the past three months, only six patients were reported to have visited the health facility while the rest have resorted to seeking the assistance of herbalists and faith healers to cure their diseases.

Though inadequate facilities have been a hindrance to the health profession for decades, in the case of the Volo Health Centre, the situation has assumed an alarming dimension as for the past three months, midwives have not conducted any delivery because there is no drug at the health post.

“Mothers in labour have to be sent to Bator for delivery because of the prevailing circumstances; it is only those who are in the second stage of labour where the baby’s head seems to be popping out that are taken care of here,” a midwife capped her frustrations to the paper.

The DAILY HERITAGE can report that for some months now, the clinic has not received drugs and essential items from the Ghana Health Service, and that has resulted in the low patient attendance.

And if the government does not go to the aid of Volo Health Centre as a matter of urgency, self-medication and resorting to unorthodox ways of treating ailments by residents would rise in the area, which subsequently, would lead to needless deaths and complications.

“As I speak to you, the whole of the day, we have only taken care of only one patient which used not to be the case. We used to take care of at least 15-30 clients a day,” a medical officer who pleaded anonymity added.

According to him, the phenomenon is adversely affecting their operations and run of duty.

The common ailment that afflicts the community is diarrhoea and malaria, but, due to the dire challenges facing the Volo health centre, the indigenes prefer staying at home to seeking medical assistance from the health post.

Snippets of information gathered by the DAILY HERITAGE revealed that because the health centre does not have a medical laboratory, pregnant women travel to Bator and Adidome for laboratory tests and scan.

What is worrying about the situation is that, the expectant mothers ride on motorcycles to these areas which, medics claim, could cause premature delivery.

Pregnant women who are wary of the fact that the journey on motorbikes on the bumpy road could affect their foetus, use another dangerous alternative, that is, ferrying themselves on canoes without life jackets.

Another precarious challenge facing the health facility is the lack of water. “Our only source of water here is rain water; thus, if we run out of water in the dry season, we are forced to leave patients, particularly, pregnant women who have been delivered of their babies to carry buckets to search for water in town,” he lamented.

The search for water sometimes takes three hours while the patient grieves in pain, the paper learnt.

Nurses and other health assistants whose services are critical to quality health delivery report to work late because there are no bungalows to house them.

The earliest a health worker reports to work is 10:00a.m.with the exception of the medical superintendent, a midwife and a nurse who live near the Volo health center.

The only motorbike that health officials also use in their health outreach to 14 communities in the area has broken down; therefore, outreach services have been suspended.