Residents of Nzulezu, a distinctive community built on stilts within the Jomoro Municipality of the Western Region, have voiced their deep concerns regarding the absence of a healthcare facility to meet their medical needs.
The residents highlighted the pressing issue of not having a healthcare center within their community, which forces them to embark on journeys to Beyin and neighboring areas to access medical care. This situation often leads to delays in receiving essential healthcare services, especially in emergency situations.
Dr. Patrick Ekye Kwesie, the Leader of the Western Nzema Youth League, spoke with the Ghana News Agency, expressing their collective sorrow and frustration. He emphasized the fact that Nzulezu, recognized as a UNESCO Heritage Site, lacks not only a healthcare facility but also healthcare professionals. The arduous journey to Beyin and other adjacent communities for healthcare services, primarily by water, creates considerable challenges.
Dr. Kwesie lamented the dire consequences when someone falls ill and cannot afford the transportation costs via outboard motor on the river. He stressed the urgency of the situation, which jeopardizes the health and well-being of the community’s residents.
Despite persistent efforts by traditional leaders to engage with the government and other stakeholders to secure a healthcare facility, their endeavors have thus far yielded no positive results.
Dr. Kwesie underscored that Nzulezu, being one of the nation’s most visited tourist destinations, should prompt authorities to prioritize not only a healthcare facility but also other essential amenities.
He emphasized the unique nature of Nzulezu, with its history, traditional way of life, housing construction, religion, customs, and cuisine, making it an invaluable cultural asset. Dr. Kwesie pointed out that in the 21st century, providing basic healthcare services to the community should be a top priority.
Dr. Kwesie made an impassioned appeal to the government and relevant stakeholders, including the Ghana Tourism Authority, to take decisive steps in establishing a healthcare facility for Nzulezu’s residents. He also highlighted the community’s willingness to contribute resources towards the construction of the much-needed healthcare facility.
The plea from Nzulezu residents underscores the importance of addressing healthcare disparities in remote and culturally significant areas, ensuring that all citizens have equitable access to vital medical services.