Bad roads limit access to health services in North West

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Some communities in rural areas across the country are often faced with challenges of accessing health services. Residents in Kagisano Molopo Local Municipality, North West are unable to access health services due to bad roads in the province.

According to the research conducted by Statistics South Africa in 2016, Kagisano Molopo Local Municipality has over 1 500 residents.

Some community members in the area have reported that due to poor road conditions they are unable to access health services as they wish. Residents say ambulances at times get stuck or broken on the way, and during rainy seasons they do not reach their areas altogether.

Thirty five-year-old resident, Neo Seumako says, “I am unemployed and live with my five children. In 2016 I was involved in an accident while in an ambulance going to a nearby hospital to give birth. I did not receive any assistance when I arrived at the hospital.”

The North West Department of Health says it has procured ambulances that will reduce the shortage in rural areas and also to respond on time.

North West Department of Health Spokesperson, Tebogo Lekgethwane says, “It is unfortunate that most of them spend time at the garages to be serviced because of the bad roads that make their lifespan very short. However, the department is currently looking at plans that can remedy the situation, which is to come with communication to the control centre, that will be centralised and assist to dispatch the nearest ambulance to the nearest scene.”

Meanwhile, the department of Public Works in the province says, it has procured new fleet of road construction vehicles that will maintain the gravel roads in rural areas across the province.