Yesterday, with the help of Mr. Ottabel, we conducted a focus group discussion with around 35 women of the Oshieye community. The purpose of this discussion was to promote free discussion between the community solely regarding their healthcare and sanitation. In addition, we wanted to understand what the most prevalent medical practices are and collect suggestions on how they can improve their lifestyle.
The discussion was a huge success in the sense that the women were very keen on participating and voicing their opinion; so much so that we had to ask them to stop talking on top of each other and raise their hands when they wished to speak!
A lot of points were raised and discussed during the hour long forum including children’s low mortality, the lack of sanitation, and the need for education. Women commented on how hard it was for them to approach local clinics due to transportation and consultancy costs, and questioned on how they can renew their health insurance policies. They also agreed on participating in communal labor and suggested that they should sit with the elders of the community to draw out plans of actions.
From the discussion, we understand that when someone in a household falls ill, the women tend to approach herbal medicines and pharmacies before seeking consultation from the local nurses. This leads to misdiagnosis of the illness and can aggravate the problem rapidly. In addition, a lack of knowledge on what facilities are available to them by the government lead to more inadequate medical practices.
The information gathered from this talk and the suggestions provided by the group will be liaised to people on the sub district and district level, as well other health related NGOs functioning in Ghana.
Erica (17th August 2016)