Pregnant women who seek antenatal care at Bonkro CHPS compound in Afram Plains South District of the Eastern Region are examined on benches due to lack of medical examination tables.
The situation, coupled with poor condition of the facility, inadequate logistics, compromised privacy of patients and absence of a midwife, are discouraging pregnant women from patronizing services of the facility, therefore, prefered to be attended to by traditional birth attendants (TBAs) at home.
“We lack a lot of things. Our mothers when they come for antenatal visit, with the bed, we put two benches together and ask them to lie on it so that we do whatever we have to do for them. So here, we need an examination bed,” Jordan Yunbow Michael, a Senior Community Nurse in Charge of the facility lamented to Starr News.
He added “you have to travel to a community to conduct delivery because they wish to sit in the house for a TBA to attend to them than coming to the facility. With our case too it is only head in vagina that you can assist. The reasons why they sit home are many but it all bounces back to education which we are doing hence seeing improvement in antenatal”.
The CHPS compound building was previously serving as information centre but converted to health facility, and at the same time, serves as accommodation for the only two male staff running the facility
Bonkro CHPS compound serves fifteen communities in the Bonkro Electoral Area
The lack of electricity in Bonkro community despite government’s promise to connect the community to the national grid is also a major setback to quality healthcare delivery in the area because some essential drugs that requires refrigeration cannot be stored while some services cannot be offered.
“There is no electricity in Bonkro community. At the facility, should somebody come in the night, we will use the torchlight but the torchlight battery drains in the midst. We had a solar facility which got damaged,I had to spend my own pocket money of Ghc3000 to fix it and buy other things for the facility but it got damaged again some years now. Many pregnant women fail to do scan because they have to travel a long distance. If electricity was available, we only have to bring it here once a while to conduct for them,” the In-charge explained
A nurses quarters project to provide accommodation for the staff, has, however, stalled due to lack of funds.
“Ever since I came to the Community, we have just two rooms that we use as accommodation. One room is for pharmacy, same room for consulting, same room for antenatal, same room for the postnatal, same room for adolescent health. The other storeroom is where I perch myself. So I sleep with the drugs. In September, I had a staff but because of accommodation challenge he is hiding himself somewhere”.
About 80 institutional maternal deaths were recorded in the Eastern region as at third quarter of 2019 whiles 697 neonatal deaths were recorded out of 49,000 live births.
A total of 132 pregnant women died in 2018, the figure was a reduction from 180 maternal deaths recorded in 2017.
This indicates that more investments are required in CHPS facilities in rural part of Ghana.