The rural health care system remains wanting now more than ever; due to a triad of issues like abject poverty, limited decision-making capacity and increase in reckless behaviour especially sexual promiscuity among youth. There is a lack of access to the limited health facilities, which also have limited supplies and personnel.
For example; a 14-year-old boy who had been having a progressive lymph node swelling for 5 years without ever seeking medical care. The diagnosis of Hodgkin’s lymphoma was being queried. Unfortunately, his mother could not afford the investigations required to make the diagnosis even after being helped by good Samaritans to access the hospital. Also, a 26-year-old who had been living with an obstetric fistula for 3 years without seeking medical help, because her husband left her and the parents thought it was only a curse which needed supernatural intervention.
These challenges span from women still being marginalized especially at family level hence limiting their active participation in health-promoting interventions to lack of adolescent-friendly services, and finally the ever-increasing health worker to patient ratio.
The probable solutions to these challenges include a local insurance scheme, engaging of different specialists to organize free annual surgical and medical camps which are affordable for all and adolescent clinics that run at least once a week, advocacy for universal health coverage even if it means enacting it into the laws of the nation, which will enable individuals to afford health care. In addition, the government should embark on decentralizing specialized health services from urban to rural areas to enable all citizens to embrace and benefit from their pertinent right of universal health coverage and in effect improve household incomes.