Transportation: Barrier to Maternal and Child Healthcare Service in Rural sub-Saharan Africa

  • December 13, 2018
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Maternal and infant mortality has reduced over the years in sub-Saharan African but it is still the highest globally. Maternal Mortality Ratio in this region was approximately 66% (201,000) with 45% decrease in Infant Mortality rate between the periods of 1990 and 2015. Women on this part of the world face 15 times the dangers of childbirth and pregnancy situations as compared to those in the developed countries, children on the other hand are more than 14 times more likely to die before attaining age 5 than children in the developed world. This is partly because of challenges of patient referral. Referral is when a health professional at a lower health facility requests that a patient should seek for healthcare services at a higher health facility. The key among other challenges in referring a patient to a higher health facility from rural communities in sub-Saharan is the means of transport. This significantly and negatively affected the achievement of Maternal and Child health outcome in spite of the good works ongoing in sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, for countries in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve the targets of the goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) which is to Ensure Healthy Lives and Wellbeing for all at all ages, the issue of geographic and physical barriers to healthcare facilities should be well looked into. Government and non-governmental organizations should help in the building of health facilities in rural and deprived communities, provide ambulance services, provide adequate health officers and drugs. All these coupled with good road network would help people in these communities. Also, primary healthcare should be placed within the cultural settings of these people, so that they can embrace and easily access it to save mothers and children from preventable deaths. Finally, other sub-Saharan African countries should adopt the Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) compound system of primary healthcare provision introduced in Ghana to help reduce the maternal and infant mortality rate drastically by 2030.

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