Authors: Dr. Carole South-Winter, Dr. Wenqian Dai and Dr. Jeanette A. Porter
Ghana is a developing sub-Saharan country in West Africa and it struggles with delivering health care within the universal health system. The primary barrier to medical care is the lack of access. The government of Ghana subsidizes universal health insurance for all of its citizens, but lacks technology, workforce, and more importantly access to sanitation and clean running water. Access to health care remains a challenge in Ghana, especially in rural areas. In this research, we studied opinion leadership for health care in Ghana using a survey conducted in May, 2014. Student investigators administered a survey to explore who was identified as the health care opinion leaders by the local community members. The respondents were asked to rank seven categories of health care providers by how often they spoke to the health care provider about their health, from most often to least often , including medical doctors, chemical sellers, herbalists, prayer camps, family members, midwives and shrines or voodoo priests. The study included 157 survey respondents from local community members, including 51 people in cities, 65 people in rural villages and 41 people in Kpanla, a remote isolated island on Lake Volta.
Keywords: access to health care; health care opinon leadership; health care in Ghana; regional differences in access to health care.