Improving socio-economic access to services in Krachi district of Ghana a case study of education and health services

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One cannot talk about development without appreciating the crucial role of education and health. This fact has long been acknowledged. However, universal access to these facilities, especially in developing countries like Ghana, is yet to be realised. Efforts to increase the use of these services have concentrated on building new facilities, upgrading existing ones in addition to improving physical access. These measures have not brought the intended change; with the majority of the people still not accessible to health and educational facilities. The objectives of this study therefore are i) To analyse the use of health facilities and senior secondary school in Krachi district. ii) To identify socio-economic factors that influence the use of senior secondary school and health facilities; and iii) To make recommendations for improving socio-economic access of people to these facilities. To achieve the above objectives, a socio-economic survey was conducted in the three sub-districts. The results obtained were analysed to determine socio-economic factors that inhibit access to health facilities and senior secondary school in the district. The study revealed a difference between the rural and urban areas in the use of health facilities and secondary school. Urban areas have more access to these facilities than the rural areas. It was further revealed that distance had no impact on the use of Senior Secondary School since people are prepared to send their children to boarding schools or to stay with relatives. Again, it was found out that access to health and educational facilities depend on household size. People with regular income like civil servants had more access to health and educational facilities than farmers whose income fluctuates. High school fees and poor performance at the Junior Secondary School were the most important reasons preventing both the rural- and urban parents from enrolling their children in Senior Secondary School. High hospital charges and expensive drugs were the main reasons preventing urban households from using modern health facilities. In the case of the rural households, the reasons were high hospital charges and distance. These findings, as they directly affect the use of health and educational facilities have very serious repercussions on the development of the district and needs immediate attention. The following recommendations, based on the findings, were made to increase access to health facilities and senior secondary school: i) Improvement in the income levels of households; ii) Improving the quality of service offered; iii) Providing low cost services; and iv) Improving general literacy level of the people. It is hoped that if these recommendations are put in place there will be an increase in the use of health facility and senior secondary school in the district. This will eventually bring about the long awaited development to the people.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Master of Science in Development Planning and Management, 1995