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Geographical perspective of modeling primary healthcare accessibility

Justice Surage (Department of Biostatistics, University of Ghana , Legon, Ghana)
Richard Tawiah (School of Medicine, Griffith University , Nathan, Australia) (Department of Mathematics, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology , Kumasi, Ghana)
Timothy Twumasi-Mensah (District Health Directorate, Ghana Health Service, Jacobu, Ghana)

International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare

ISSN: 2056-4902

Article publication date: 13 March 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure the spatial accessibility of primary healthcare facility in Ghanaian rural areas, by determining the barriers to healthcare accessibilities in the Amansie Central District.

Design/methodology/approach

Both network and proximity analyses were performed on the digitized data such as road networks, settlements, population, district boundary, natural resources (rivers, streams and forest) and site location (health facilities). To quantify the population who have access to healthcare the authors used the Ghana Health Service access criteria that health facility should be accessible to an estimated population within 8 km radius from the facility.

Findings

The overall mean distance to the nearest health facility in the district was 8.9 km. Fiankoma sub-district recorded the highest mean distance whereas Tweapease sub-district recorded the least. In general, 31.2 percent of the district population has no access to healthcare facility. Transportation was identified to be one of the major hindrances to healthcare accessibility and this was as a result of poor road network in the district.

Research limitations/implications

The study was restricted to the Amansie Central District of Ghana. This limits the extent of generalization of results.

Originality/value

The study proposed additional sites for siting new health facilities base on criteria such as population, distance, centrality and existing infrastructural development. This will consequently improve healthcare accessibility and utilization by increasing total coverage closer to 100 percent.

Keywords

Citation

Surage, J., Tawiah, R. and Twumasi-Mensah, T. (2017), "Geographical perspective of modeling primary healthcare accessibility", International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 56-67. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJHRH-08-2016-0013

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited