It is sunrise here in Tokpo, one of the numerous island communities in the Krachi West District of the Oti Region.
Some fisherfolks had just returned from the night’s expedition, docked their boats and folding their nets in preparation for the next expedition.
The residents here who survive mainly on fishing, do not have access to primary healthcare.
They are forced to travel 45 minutes on the Oti river and about 20 minutes on road to get primary healthcare in Worawora in the Biakoye district or cross to Kete Krachi, which is also quite distant.
Doris Atsri, who migrated here with her husband about a decade ago, said she went through struggles to give birth to her 3 children.
Speaking in the Ga Adangbe dialect, she narrated that “when the wind is blowing unfavourably, We had to sleep and be transported in the morning. We have to cross the Oti River when we are in labour to give birth. If God permits, we put to bed at home.”
“But we had to rely on milk and malt to ease the flow of blood after childbirth. Our husbands later transport us to the hospital for medications”, she further indicated.
Lydia Oman said accessing healthcare has impoverished them since they have to expend extra on transport to the health facilities located inland.
“You always have to cross the river before accessing antenatal care. You will suffer before you get to the hospital. That is why we are pleading for a hospital to be situated in our community”.
“When I was in labor, we didn’t get petrol so I was compelled to give birth here”, she said.
Nonetheless, the worries of these residents in accessing healthcare are over.
Fortunately, the Korean Foundation for International Health (KOFIH) constructed and furnished a Community Health Planning Service (CHPS) Compound for the Tokpo community.
The facility is expected to provide primary healthcare to residents, however, health workers have suggested that a river ambulance should be stationed in the area.
Denu Odilia, a resident midwife stationed at the Tokpo CHPS Compound, appreciated the initiative by KOFIH, but appealed for the provision of a river ambulance to aid in transporting referred patients to other big facilities in the region.
In a related development, KOFIH also provided a similar facility to residents of Old Dentemanso, a fishing community in the Krachi Nchumuru district.
This brings to an end, the era of travelling on deplorable roads to Grubi and Chinderi for healthcare.
The Country Director of KOFIH, Jinho Kang, said his outfit is focused on improving maternal and child health in Ghana.
“The main aim of the CHPS Project is to improve maternal and child healthcare services and to reduce maternal mortality rate”, he said.
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service, Dr. Patrick Kuma Aboagye, promised the facility would soon be upgraded to health centre status, adding a physician assistant would be transferred to serve at the facility to enhance service delivery.
The Chief of Dentemanso, Nana Kadewuara III, lauded KOFIH on the gesture but lamented the deplorable state of their access roads.
The Krachi Nchumuru District Chief Executive in response mentioned that the relevant institutions have been lobbied, hoping construction works would start on the road in earnest.
KOFIH, within the last 8 years, has contributed immensely towards achieving universal health coverage in the Volta and Oti Regions.