The 2021 Population and Housing Census provisional Residential Proximity to Essential Service Facilities Report which is meant to help monitor the implementation of aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),has been launched in Accra.
The report highlighted on health, education, access to finance, and safety and security in relation to the SDGs.
Specifically, the report used georeference data generated from the 2021 HPC to generate statistics on the availability of facilities providing education, health, financial services, and safety and security.
The report indicates the average distance people travel to access these services.
The Deputy Government Statistician for Social and Population Statistics, Dr Faustina Frempong, who gave highlight of the report said, 52 per cent of residential structures nationally were within one kilometre the reach of a health facility.
She said 92 per cent in urban areas were within a kilometre range of a facility while rural areas were 35 per cent of residents being within the reach of a health facility, 20 per cent rural dwellers travelled between two to five kilometres to access healthcare.
Dr Frempong stated that seventy-three per cent of rural residential clusters nationwide and 24 per cent of urban areas nationwide did not have a health facility.
“On the average, 40 per cent of people in residential structures travel beyond two kilometres to access primary healthcare, while in the rural areas 44 percent of residents access primary healthcare within two kilometres, whiles in urban areas it is about ten percent,” Dr Frempong, said.
The Government Statistician indicated that per international best practice, patients must not travel beyond a kilometre to access healthcare.
On proximity to education, Dr Frempong said 73 per cent of residential clusters in rural areas nationwide did not have all the three required levels of basic education from pre-primary, primary and junior high school.
“Nearly one-third of rural residential clusters nationwide (six per cent of urban areas nationwide) do not have a facility providing health services,” she said.
Dr Frempong further said, half of the residential structures (51 per cent) in the country lived outside the recommended distance (1 kilometre) radius from pre-primary school.
Particularly on primary education, the Deputy Government Statistician said 72 per cent of residential structures were within one kilometre reach of primary education and 99 per cent for urban residential structures were within a kilometre reach and 70 per cent among residential structures in rural areas.
On Junior High School (JHS) education, Dr Frempong said at the national level, a little over half (52.8 per cent) of the residential structures were within two kilometre distance to access to a JHS facility, adding that the Greater Accra had the highest percentage of 86 per cent and nine regions had percentage lower than 50 per cent accessing JHS facility within two kilometres.
Professor Samuel K. Annim in his remarks said the report was to provide statistics on essential services such as education, health, finance and security for policy decision.
That, he said, was to stimulate discussion on the availability of essential services and to help policy makers to ask whether we have an ideal number of essential services.
Professor Annim said the study provided the number of health, educational, financial institutions as well as the number of police stations in the country.
BY KINGSLEY ASARE & CECILIA LAGBA