Residents of Yizesi, the largest community in the Mamprugu in the Moaduri district are struggling under difficult circumstances to access basic health services due to the deteriorating state of the only health centre in there.

Despite a recommendation by the World Health Organization that says people should not travel over eight km to access a health facility, residents of this community and surrounding remote areas, travel about 50km to the nearest clinic in Sandema in the upper east region to reach primary care.

Their only facility serving a total of about 15,000 people in over 10 other communities is currently in shambles due to years of neglect.

Constructed in 2001 by an American family, the facility has seen no renovations and logistics have been in short of supply.

Deep cracks have separated parts of the building with leaking and rotten ceilings all taken over by bats and spiderwebs. Power cables and insulations in the rooms were all disconnected with windows panes removed and replaced with dirty clothes.

The beds are broken down and labour patients are mostly required to come along with their own mattresses or risk sleeping on the cracked floor after treatments.

Yagaba clinic

Patients are treated outside except a small single bedroom for maternal care and most people sit in wooded chairs to receive diagnosis and treatment.

Health authorities in the district have decided to fumigate the facility at a cost of ¢5000 but lack of funds is delaying the treatment exercise.

In addition to shortages of essential medicines, droppings of the bats have left a foul smell all over the facility, forcing many of the poor residents to delay or forgo their health needs.

When JoyNews visited the facility, the staff showed us around ad discussed the challenges but they declined to be identity or comment on records due to sanctions from superiors.

They said all the challenges had been reported to authorities.

However, some residents and patients relatives spoke to JoyNews about the almost inaccessible healthcare services in the area.

Faiza Musah, 33, who brought her sick mother to the facility, lamented over the condition of the facility and called on authorities to renovate the building and provide medical supplies.

Mahama Zeinabu said she would have taken her money to Walewale or Kubori if she had options.

Another resident, Aminu John, said the challenges of the facility are numerous and expressed concern over the stench in the facility.

He also appealed for immediate renovation works to ensure effective healthcare delivery.

Yagaba clinic

The Assemblyman, Abdulai Rahman, said many people continue to die due to lack of emergency drugs such as snake antivenin, pneumonia bills and general anaesthesia.

He stated the facility was a referral centre for about 12 communities but the bad nature of the building embarrassed his position as the assemblyman because “all the things that are needed to deliver quality healthcare are scarce”.

JoyNews contacted the District Health Director, Titus Nmini, who confirmed knowledge about the situation and said the directorate had sent out assistance requests to NGOs to help them fumigate the facility.

While access to medical care does not guarantee good health, access to healthcare is critical for a population’s well-being and optimal health.

However, villages in Mamprugu Moaduri district are so impoverished that most of the health posts do not have medicines or medical workers, let alone doctors.

People often die from diarrhoea and malnutrition which can be treated with ordinary medicines and proper health advice, and nothing has changed, even today, the people continue to suffer like they did several decades ago.

This district is always cut off during wet seasons due to bad roads and only accessible through the Upper East region from Sandema to Fumbisi in the Builsa South district or BH river through Singa in Kunbumgu.

With a farm population of over 23,000, the district has only one doctor and occasionally reports have emerged of dangerous circumstances people in the area encountered to access health care services.

Last year, a video emerged on social media showing how four men had to carry a woman in labour in a can chair to cross a flooded bridge to reach a nearby health facility.