Hundreds of pregnant women within the Wa East District of the Upper West Region do not have access to ultrasound scan due to its unavailability in the area.
Pregnant women requiring such medical services will have to travel over 100 kilometres to Wa, a journey many of the women do not dare embark on due to the additional financial burden and the poor nature of the roads to the regional capital.
The ultrasound scan machine, according to health officials, cost 15,000 cedis but none of the health facilities in the district has been able to procure one for antenatal services.
As a result many pregnant women in the area know the condition of their unborn babies and associated complications.
The district has only two physician assistants managing nine health centres, and 26 CHPS Compounds across 150 communities in the area.
It is also the only district in the Upper West Region without a Polyclinic or a District Hospital.
District Director of Health services, Rukaya Wumnaya told our correspondent that most pregnant women refuse referral to Wa due lack of money and transportation challenges.
She said the nearest referral facility is about 100 kilometres away from some of the communities which is affecting health care delivery.
“From here to Wa is more than 100km, and if you look at from Funsi too to Wa, it’s also more than 100km and these women that we asked to travel all this distance it is always very hectic for them.
“Some of them don’t even have the money, and even if they have the money and they go, the only vehicle in this community (Holimuni) leaves in the morning only on market days and before they get there at about 1:00 p.m. or 2:00 p.m. which means they have to sleep,” she said
According to her, because the women don’t have relatives in Wa when “you refer them, most of the time they don’t even go because of the challenges”.
The situation compelled the Wa East District Health Directorate to seek support from the Vodafone Health Foundation scan pregnant women in the rural district.
At Holimuni Health Centre, one of the deprived areas in the district, 100 out of the targeted 300 pregnant women with their pregnancy at various stages, underwent ultrasound scan for free.
One of the beneficiaries, Kuunlafaa Linus said she has not been able to go for the scna as recommended due to financial constraints, saying “sometimes too I have money for the scan but the lorry fare, which is 30 cedis is the problem.
She said it will be good if they have the scan done at the district.
A sonographer and volunteer of Vodafone Health Foundation, Prince Obeng Boateng, said their focus is to help the vulnerable pregnant women who couldn’t travel to have the scan at the upper West regional capital, Wa.
“We go to the deprived areas where they don’t have access to scan. We help them and all these programmes are sponsored by Vodafone Ghana and also Vodafone Ghana Foundation” he said.