A Health Research Officer of the Navrongo Health Research Centre, NHRC of the Ghana Health Service, Matilda Aberese, claims traditional healers are to blame squarely for for the inability of the sector to improve tremendously on the healthcare delivery system in the Upper East Region.
According to her, many traditional believers, especially those who reside in the rural communities in the region still consult 'the oracle or smaller gods' and traditional healers to treat the sick at this time and age.
Expressing conspicuous disgust over the phenomenon, she says when the traditional healers fail to successfully treat the patient, they finally refer the patient to the hospital when his or her health condition is worsened, an issue she described as a threat to healthcare delivery in the region.
Mrs. Aberese, has therefore, appealed to traditional authorities and other opinion leaders in the rural communities to join the crusade to discourage traditional healing and other customs that prevent the sick to go to the orthodox hospitals and health centres for treatment.
She made this observation at the occasion of Dissemination of Baseline Facility and Community Assessment Findings in Bolgatanga of the Upper East Region.
"The practice of traditional healers and other traditional beliefs negatively influence the healthcare practices. When someone fall sick, the people prefer taking the fellow to the traditional healer to a hospital.
"When the traditional healer does not succeed treating the sick whose condition is already worsened, he refers him or her to the hospital and sad news is always likely to occur. This is one of the causes of deaths", Mrs Aberese added.
Expressing her concern on the alarming rate of deaths among children and women recorded annually in the region, she feared all efforts employed by the Ghana Health Service to stimulate the healthcare delivery system in the region would suffer a setback should traditional believers continued to consult oracles and smaller gods when someone fell sick.
Dr. John Williams, a worker of NHRC, who gave a presentation on the implementation of Mother-Baby Friendly Health Facility Initiative project, MBFHI, said the project sought to stem the problem of maternal and neonatal or infant deaths which was on the ascendancy in the region.
He said the project which was implemented by the NHRC was being piloted in four administrative districts and municipalities in the region, such as Bongo, Bolgatanga, Kassena-Nankana West and Bawku, stressing he was hopeful maternal and newborn care would be improved.
As part of efforts to streamline maternal and newborn care, Dr. Williams, who doubles as the Principal Investigator of the MBFHI, said some mechanism was designed by the three-year life span project to monitor women in labour.
He, however, charged authorities of the GHS to monitor closely the attitude of health staff in the various health centres by ensuring they did not perpetrate laziness and behaviours that were not consistent to the rules and regulations governing the service.
He further underscored the need for health authorities to re-orient health staff to appreciate the need for documentation as they poised to improve health care delivery in the country.
Meanwhile, Dr. Williams noted the MBFHI project which was implemented in 2015 was likely to end in 2017, despite the delay in its full implementation in some districts and municipalities.
Source: Francis Dabre Dabang/ email: [email protected]
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