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Ave-Dakpa Health Centre Cries for Help

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Residents Lament Deplorable Nature of the Facility 

Residents of Ave-Dakpa in the Akatsi North District of the Volta region are calling on the government to come to their aid in the provision of basic medical supplies and adequate staff to the Ave-Dakpa Health Centre.

 

According to the residents, the health center lacks essential medical supplies, basic amenities, and adequate staff which was a major challenge to health service delivery in the district.

 

Many residents of Ave- Dakpa and adjoining communities have had to seek health services in neighboring Dzodze and Akatsi during emergencies resulting in complications and sometimes fatalities.

 

A concerned resident of the area, John Ahiale in an interview with this reporter said, that for several years now, the area with a vast population of about forty thousand, can only boast of a small health center.

 

“You see, Ave-Dakpa is the capital of the Akatsi North District which was carved out of the then Akatsi district – since the creation of this district, we only have a health center taking care of the health needs of the huge population. Some people come from other towns and even neighboring Togo to access health care at the center.

 

Can you imagine that a whole district has just one small health post for this large population – even though, there are inadequate personnel to run the place, coupled with the lack of medical supplies and other basic amenities? We have been appealing to the authorities to come to our aid to no avail – there is currently an ongoing project which we are told is our new hospital which is even taking forever to complete,” a distraught Ahiale lamented.

 

He added: “Anyone who has ever visited the Ave-Dakpa Health Centre would appreciate that we are suffering in terms of accessing quality health care services – how can a health post exist without permanent medical and nursing officers, no source of water, laboratory equipment for simple medical tests, a reliable means of transport, toilet facilities and medicines for common ailments,” Ahiale quizzed.

 

A visit by our reporter to the Ave-Dakpa Health Centre revealed that it is more of a CHPS compound than a health center. There is nothing in it that is living; everything is almost dead. 

 

One visits the facility to see benches used as beds, dilapidated chairs, and a few ward assistants as resources the facility can boast of.

 

As a result of this sorry state of affairs, inhabitants of the area have almost lost confidence in the operations of the few personnel there. But day in and day out, poor, suffering patients still troop in there to seek some medical care.

 

Complicated cases are usually referred to the St. Anthony Catholic Hospital at Dzodze, which is a couple of miles from Ave-Dakpa.

 

In as much as one would agree that healthcare delivery in the country is facing major hitches,  interventions of Government, NGOs, Corporate bodies and philanthropists can bring some respite to the people using these facilities.

 

A permanent medical officer, one or two qualified nurses, laboratory technicians, pharmacists or dispensers, ward assistants, and midwives need to be posted to handle cases in these deprived communities.

 

It must be appreciated that the people of Ave-Dakpa are predominantly peasant farmers. Poverty and lack of necessities are therefore rife in the enclave.

 

Their continued survival would be threatened should they continue to battle with where and how to access affordable, quality healthcare services.

 

There is a need for the Akatsi North District Directorate of Health Services to regularly extend public health and environmental sanitation programs to the people of the area. There is also the need for allied agencies, like the Environmental Health and Sanitation Department, Information Services Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Churches, and Schools to also join hands in this cause.

 

If Ghana is to meet its United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target by 2035, of the goals number 4 and 5, which aims ‘To reduce child mortality and ‘To improve maternal health’ respectively, then the conditions of health facilities such as the deplorable Ave-Dakpa Health Centre need serious and urgent attention.

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