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Lack of bridges affect access to health care in Bongo – Report

Lack of bridges in some parts of the Bongo District in the Upper East Region is affecting health care delivery at the Bongo District Hospital.

The situation further affects quality education as pupils are prevented from going to school because they cannot cross some damaged bridges especially when it rains.

The revelation came up from a report of a research conducted by the Tankoo Noyine Cooperative Farmers Society, Nayire vegetable farmers, Tankoo vegetable farmers Association in the District in February 2018.

The result of the research was made known during a sensitization programme held in Tankoo in the Bongo District.

It brought together chiefs, assembly members, women and youth groups, members of the farmer Associations, staff of the Ghana Education Service, opinion leaders and political party functionaries.

The central theme for the research was: “Construction of bridges on Akayonga and Dua-Kantia Rivers to facilitate market access for agricultural and other livelihood activities for Beo-Nayire and Tankoo communities in the Bongo District”.

The advocacy action research was funded by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund and its Development partners DANIDA, the USAID and the European Union (EU).

On health, a little over 52.6 percent of the respondents said community members particularly pregnant women do not visit health centres regularly as result of  the deplorable nature of the bridges, thereby defeating the purpose of the free maternal health service provided by the government.

More than 50 percent of the respondents said teacher absenteeism was high during the rainy season, especially when the rivers are full, “many children stay out of school during the rainy season and can sometimes sit in the house for about a month when the rivers of the two communities are full”, the research indicated.

The research states that “no attempt has ever been made to construct the Dua-Kantia river bridge which is a major route used by traders who ply the Akayonga and Bongo markets as well as staff of the Ghana Education Service, the Ghana Health Service and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture service who move to the communities on daily basis to deliver services”.

The stakeholders at the sensitization forum, who confirmed the findings, said the construction of the bridges would not only help address the challenges confronting the inefficient health and education delivery in the District, but it would boost farmers’ income and the revenue of the District Assembly.

Naba Abane Ayamdoo, the chief of Wagliga, said the construction of the bridges “will help improve the living conditions of farmers, reduce maternal mortality and help improve the enrolment rates among basic schools in the area.

It will also help facilitate trades among the various community markets in the area.

Mr Vincent Subbey, the Monitor of the BUSAC Fund, who commended the stakeholders for their high turnout and the maximum level of participation, called on them never to give up, and use tact and diplomacy in their advocacy activities.

GNA

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