An assessment of child health programmes in the Tamale Metropolis and Nanumba North District

Thumbnail Image
June, 2016
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
The purpose of this study was to review the performance of child health programmes implemented in the Tamale Metropolis and the Nanumba North District. The case study research design was adopted to undertake this research. Respondents were drawn from the Ghana Health Service (GHS) (2), Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) (2) and women (201) within the child bearing age in the study areas. It was found that five different child health programmes have been carried out in the study area over the years. These were malaria prevention/treatment programmes, nutrition supplement and immunisation programmes to protect children against childhood killer diseases and breastfeeding awareness creation. Institutions found operating most of these child health programmes in the study area included GHS, United Nations Education and Children fund (UNICEF) and Youth Advocacy on Rights and Opportunities (YARO) (a non-governmental organization). The study further showed that, physical accessibility/distance barrier affected the coverage of many child health programmes taking place in the study area. It was also realised that the greater segment of women (60 percent) harboured the perception that most diseases are spiritual and were therefore inclined to traditional medicine. This largely stems from the low levels of education attainment in the study area, for instance, about 31 percent and 22.7 percent of the respondents in the Nanumba North District and Tamale Metropolis never attended school. However, successful treatments of diseases such as convulsion, malaria and other ailments among the six childhood killer diseases (previously perceived to be spiritually-caused) has helped significantly in changing such superstitious perceptions, which has led to the general acceptance of child health programmes in the study area. It came to light in the study that; the cultural beliefs, low level of cooperation among health stakeholders, and inadequate health workers are among the major challenges encountered in the implementation of child health programmes in the Nanumba North District and Tamale Metropolis. The study recommends among other things, the need for Ghana Health Service to partner with other stakeholders especially the Information Department of the District Assembly, to embark on rigorous sensitization in order to diffuse the misconceptions of the people about child health programmes. As a way of tackling the distance barrier, the study suggested that the relevant authorities like the GHS and the District Assembly should construct additional health facilities especially Community Health Based Planning Services (CHPS Compound) at vantage points to enhance easy access to health services.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements For the Award of DegreeMaster Of Science IN Development Policy and Planning