Hinterland communities lack healthcare professionals – UNICEF

first_img…child mortality rate highThe availability of reliable healthcare professionals may be taken for granted on the coastland, but for people in the hinterland communities, it is a crucial problem for many individuals who are unable to seek medical attention when the need may arise, owing to the lack of nurses and doctors.According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), there is need for a substantial number of medical personnel to address the needs of the Indigenous people. Additionally, numerous health centres are operating without any standard equipment to perform tests.In a comment, a healthcare professional from one of the hinterland communities stated, “People from here do not really apply to work in these fields (health-related work). Some who are brought here do not stay very long. We are not on par with the rest of the country, because we don’t have a functioning lab and an x-ray department.”This situation has been on-going for many years and as such, it is seen as a norm by the residents of these areas. Additionally, it is also linked to the high mortality rates that have been recorded and shown from the statistical data that was collected, since many are aware of the healthcare facilities but are unable to access them owing to unavailability. Many women tend to give birth at home rather than visit the health centres.The child mortality rate, the probability of a child dying between the first month and their fifth birthday, for the Indigenous people is 12 per 1000 live births when compared to the national rate of 8 per 1000 live births. Several studies also show that while many babies are born alive, they tend to die before their fifth birthday. These findings are regarded as alarming factors for such a small population as in these communities.Meanwhile, another problem that these areas are faced with is the nutritional status of the children which was deemed by the US organisation as “worrisome”. The findings demonstrate that one in every four children is faced with malnutrition, which creates a severe risk to their cognitive and physical development.Additionally, 20.4 per cent of children under the age of five in the interior locations suffer from malnutrition when compared to 9.8 per cent in the urban communities and 10 per cent on the coastland.While there are little to no records on maternal mortality, anecdotal information also points to the fact that women in the hinterland are also at a higher chance of dying during childbirth.The logical solution to these problems, as stated by the UNICEF representatives, would be to offer primary healthcare services and vaccination programmes to the Indigenous communities.last_img