Spatial accessibility to health care facilities in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam and Upper Denkyira Districts in the Central Region of Ghana
The article addresses orthodox and traditional medical practices in Ghana which are based on science, magic and religion. The role of both scientific and traditional health care practices is investigated. However, orthodox medicine, which was introduced in approximately 1868, has become the accepted officially system in the country. This has resulted in the establishment of over 1200 health care facilities in the country. Due to the uneven distribution of the facilities, the majority of the population, who reside in the rural areas, scarcely have access to formal health care, forcing them to use mainly traditional medical practices. The accessibility levels for the different settlements were studied based on data collected from a sample of 800 households from 16 settlements in the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam and Upper Denkyira Districts of the Central Region in 2005. The study also used a hierarchical process model for the analyses. The findings indicate that increases in distance exert some influence on the use of the district hospitals, which are the referral points for people in the districts. As a consequence there is an over-reliance on the use of alternative facilities, sometimes with dire consequences for people's health.