Health News of 2014-07-13

Education and maternal health under threat

Child education and maternal health care in three Asante-Akim Central communities are threatened following the collapse of two bridges, cutting them from the rest of the municipality.

Travelling from one community to another is difficulty as kids and pregnant women at Boatengkrom, Nyamebekyere and Nsiakrom, have to make a round trip of 12 kilometres to attend school and antenatal clinic at Dwease; but with the cave in of the bridges, built over the fast flowing Sopaka River has become too risky, to make the journey.

The pupils are forced to stay away from school anytime there is heavy rainfall, something that has been going on for more than four years. They would sit in the house as long as it takes for the water level to drastically drop.

Mr Samuel Ofori-Amanfo, the assembly member, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that this was seriously affecting the academic performance of the children. Reporters of the national wire service had visited the area under STAR-Ghana’s sponsored media auditing and tracking of development projects, an initiative launched to shine a spotlight on how government’s resources were helping to transform the lives of the people, particularly the rural population.

The goal is to aid transparency and promote good governance. Mr Ofori-Amanfo complained that the sick in these predominantly cocoa and food crop growing communities are unable to access health care during the rainy season. He claimed that seven pregnant women had lost their lives because of the isolation of the three communities any time it rain heavily.

He therefore appealed to the government to act without further delay to fix the bridges to end the suffering of the people. Mr Ofori-Amanfo said there was an attempt to capture the construction of the bridges in the assembly’s 2010 budget but that failed, adding “several petitions made to the appropriate state institutions were also yet to elicit any response”.