Two Communities Not Enjoying NHIS

Wpid Nhis

Maternal Mortality rates is on the ascendency in the Northern Region with worse incidences in the conflict communities of Yiyamba and Bierim in the Gushiegu District.

The poor in these two communities continue to suffer terribly on their health conditions, which aggravates the trauma women go through in child bearing and sometimes leads to loss of life both women and babies.

The problems facing the people are many fold. They have to grapple with hustles of poor road networks to send pregnant women to access healthcare at Gueshiegu; unreliable rainfall pattern leading to poor crop yield; and an unending conflict, which is ruining their progress. Social protection is also absent in the communities, which compounds the already poverty ?endemic situation.

Reports indicate that more than 95 per cent of babies born in the two communities suffer from low birth weight due to lack of good nutrition and lack of proper health care because of the absence of a health facility.

According to the World Health Organization, childbirth-related deaths in Ghana between the beginning of 2011 and the end of 2012 was 2,700. It also reported that the Northern Region of Ghana recorded the highest maternal mortality rates within the same period. Additionally, the Region?s health directorate says a total of 250 women died during childbirth.

In 2009, statistics from the Northern Regional Health Directorate indicate that 96 women died during delivery. Two years later, 88 women died, while 130 died in 2012. From January to June last year, 70 women died during delivery.

This, no doubt, paints a disturbing picture, which need a multifaceted approach to address so that precious lives would be saved.

Significantly, pregnant women in the two communities tend to rely on herbalists and traditional birth attendants, a practice which often endangers their lives.

Mr Ngmarimba Ibrahim, the assemblyman Yiyamba and Bierim communities, says he is worried about the long distances pregnant women have to travel to access quality healthcare at Gushiegu and the many other challenges.

The road from the two communities to Gushiegu is in a bad shape thus compounding the problem, he says.

In emergencies, bicycles are used as ambulances for these women and this complicates their already critical condition, says Ibrahim.
Nursing mothers are also unable to access post natal care for themselves and their babies.
Thus, traditional treatment becomes the main resort to ensuring the well-being of the poor here, he complains.

These two communities, are therefore, not enjoying the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), which was designed to enhance the safety-net for the poor by providing lower premiums based on income and socio-economic status.

The NHIS Act was passed by Parliament as one of the manifestations of the Government?s assurances to make healthcare accessible and affordable to all, especially the poor.

Experts assert that poverty is one of the risk factors that cause low life expectancy.

Additionally, the people lack basic necessities such as shelter, electricity, telephone services and clothing. They subsist on agriculture and are far from breaking through on all fronts of life.

The rate of school dropouts in the two communities is also high.

Indeed, it is critical for the government and other stakeholders to urgently save the people of Yiyamba and Bierim communities from their predicament.

It is important that the government collaborates with other stakeholders to train more health service personnel and build more infrastructure for those in areas like Yiyamba and Bierim to reduce premature deaths.

I am also appealing to other stakeholders to support Ghana Health Service (GHS) to improve the skills, knowledge and approaches of midwives and community health facilities to use of the Information and Communication Technology tools to connect maternal health information in the communities. GNA

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