THE Mission of Hope for Society Foundation, (HSF) a non-governmental organisation working in the health sector in the Kintampo South District in the Brong Ahafo Region has added its voice to the call of some peasant farmers in the district demanding an improvement in the healthcare service delivery in the district.
The reaction by the NGO stemmed from a story published in the Daily Graphic of Tuesday, August 31, 2010 headlined “Pregnant women’s free delivery under threat: In Kintampo South”.
Some peasant farmers, who spoke to this writer, were not satisfied with the services provided by the District Directorate of Health Services, and therefore, called for a swift intervention to help arrest the situation.
The Executive Director of HSF, Mr Gabriel Bernarkuu, who is also the Brong Ahafo Regional Organiser for NGOs working in the health sector of the region, said the Kintampo South District Directorate of Health Services had failed in its mandate as the leading government organisation to bring healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the people.
He stated that the lack of co-operation from the district health directorate with its partners in healthcare delivery, especially civil society organisations had not been the best.
According to him, the activities of the district health directorate had denied the district of benefiting from health infrastructure facilities from the donor community, which had often been channelling those facilities through the NGOs working in the district.
Mr Bernarkuu cited an example in which his organisation through a donor, wanted to construct a maternity home at one of the farming communities in the district but was stalled by non-co-operation from the district health directorate and therefore, preventing the project from taking place.
He stated that if the trend of affairs was not reversed, the district would not be able to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 & 5 aimed at reducing under-five and maternal mortality rate by 2015.
Mr Bernarkuu said most of the NGOs working in the health sector which wanted to work in the district had been frustrated by the health directorate and therefore, had to pack their baggage and leave the district, a situation which was affecting healthcare delivery in the district.
He, therefore, called for a stronger collaboration and co-operation from all stakeholders, especially the district health directorate to help address the health challenges in the country
Mr Bernarkuu said a research conducted in eight communities in the district by his organisation revealed that private maternity homes in the area did not receive any support from the health directorate and the government hospital in line with the government’s policy of providing family planning services.
He said the research revealed further that traditional birth attendance guideline for community services delivery was becoming weaker in the district because the health directorate had neglected the vital role those local experts played.
Mr Bernarkuu said another challenge hampering healthcare delivery in the district was poor access roads,which was making life difficult for the people in accessing proper healthcare.
He, therefore, appealed to the district assembly to collaborate with the health directorate to eliminate barriers affecting health service delivery by improving the road network, building more health centres and training more health personnel with a view of achieving the MDGs 4&5.