Children in Ghana face health challenges that are magnified by the high cost of health care and limited access to resources. Ghanaian children suffer consequences from illnesses such as malaria, respiratory infections, gastrointestinal disturbances, sickle cell disease, injuries and accidents, and seizures. It is important to recognize the prominent diseases of this population so that funding can be allocated to relieve the burdens caused by the disease progression. This study aims to explore the health care needs of Ghanaian children and answer the question, “What are the significant health care concerns of the pediatric population in Ghana, Africa as perceived by health care personnel, educators, and parents?” The variable in this study is the health concerns of 0-18-year-olds in Ghana.
In February 2020, a qualitative descriptive study was conducted using nineteen interviews with a school administrator, a dietician, a local cook, a medical director, a lab technician, teachers, nurses, and doctors. Malaria, gastrointestinal disturbances, and respiratory infections were found to be perceived as the prevalent concerns for Ghanaian children. Second to these, malnutrition was recognized as another issue. Additionally, seizures and fever were mentioned as common symptoms presented in children. Other health issues such as disabilities, asthma, and injuries were experienced by children in this community, but were not seen as the primary concern.
These findings have implications for education and clinical practice. Health professionals can be educated in how to prevent, reduce risk factors, and intervene early for these common diseases. Families can be taught about local resources and how to monitor for signs and symptoms. In clinical practice, more funding could be allocated to implement strategies to reduce the prevalence of these diseases. Screenings can be applied in health professionals’ routine assessments so that early intervention can reduce negative consequences. Overall, this study identified the perceived health needs of the pediatric population in Ghana and is valuable for developing solutions to the problems that these children face.
Coldwell, Jordan; Edalgo, Meghan; Hester, Shannon; Johnston, Megan; Simon, Audrey; Wills, Karley; and Catts, PhD, RN, Patricia, "A Qualitative Study on Pediatric Health Concerns in Ghana" (2021). Nursing Undergraduate Work. 13.