Half a dozen newly-born babies and mothers have died in the last six years at an island community of Faana in the Ga South Municipal Assembly of the Greater Accra Region.
That is according to residents of the community trapped in between the sea and lagoon with no access to healthcare.
Other inhabitants and pregnant women continue to die and deliver in canoes because they have to travel for over one hour in paddled canoes to access healthcare.
JoyNews‘ Henry Kwesi Badu who visited the community spoke to some inhabitants of their ordeal.
35-year-old Kwame recounted how his wife in 2018 delivered their first child in a canoe en route to a CHPS compound miles away from the island community.
“I went fishing when my wife was in labor. She delivered on her was to the hospital. The hospital is very far from where we live. I was afraid something might happen to my wife because the healthcare was a distance away,” he said.
His wife was lucky to have survived. But the fisherman is worried because his wife is now 7 months pregnant expecting a second child soon.
The only way to access the community is by a canoe.
With no electricity, water and other basic amenities, pregnant women and other members of the community in dire need of healthcare will have to risk their lives by sitting in paddled canoes without a life jacket for close to an hour to reach the nearest health facility.
Rosemary Dasi also a resident said her water broke in the dead of the night, last year.
With no canoes operating in the night and no traditional birth attendants she had to wait for four hours to get a canoe, enduring severe pains and putting her life and the baby on the edge.
“The canoe came around 5 am. I was in pains and I couldn’t sit in the Canoe. After an hour we got to the banks of the river and I was told to quicken my steps. I got to the hospital and delivered safely but it was a horrifying experience,” she said.
Pregnant women aren’t the only victims as other sick persons face similar challenges. They rely on first aid until they get access to canoes which are not readily available.
Rosemary now has two children and says whenever they fall ill, “I take my children through steam inhalation or give them some herbs anytime they are unwell until I get a canoe.”
Health personnel visit the community occasionally to provide lifesaving healthcare services like immunizing babies.
A visiting nurse to the community, Onasis Kankam says he’s able to visit the community once in two weeks when there is money, “but when there is no money, once in a month then we try our best and come.”
Half a dozen newly born babies have died in the past 6 years because they could not get to a healthcare facility early enough.
The over 600 inhabitants want an intervention to save lives.
Until the government comes to the aid of the community in dire need of health centers like that of Faanaa, many lives will continue to be at risk.