The Greater Accra region is one of the ten administrative regions of Ghana. It lies in the South East of the country along the gulf of Guinea and has coastal savannah, a little forest area inland towards the Eastern region in the Ga district, and miles of beautiful coastline especially in the rural parts of the region. The shores in the capital city Accra are unfortunately mostly polluted.
Accra “district” is an urban metropolis with a total population of 1,658,937 from the 2000 census. It is the most densely populated part of the region. It was divided in to 6 sub-metros namely Ablekuma, Ashiedu-Keteke, Ayawaso, Kpeshie, Okaikoi, and Osu-Clottey up to mid 2004 when the number of sub-metros was increased by legislative instrument to 13 by further sub-dividing the original 6. However the health sector continues to work according to the old system of 6 sub-metros. It will take time to have adequate human resource and infrastructure to enable the administrative arrangements needed in the health sector to operate 13 sub-metro administrations.
Each of the 6 sub-metros is treated more or less as an administrative district because of the size of their population and the complexity of the sub-metro health system. Each of the sub-metros is served by a government polyclinic. In addition there are several small government clinics and numerous private clinics and hospitals. There are four government hospitals in the Accra metropolis (Princess Marie Louise Children’s hospital, Achimota hospital, Ridge hospital and La General hospital). There are in addition several quasi government hospitals such as the Police hospital, Military hospital, University hospital, Trust hospital (SSNIT) and Cocoa clinic.
Tema “district” with a population of 506,400 in the 2000 census is almost completely urbanized and classified as a municipality. The major seaport in Ghana, the Tema harbor is part of this municipality. There are however several completely rural communities in Tema especially in the areas where it borders the Dangme West and Ga districts. Tema has a government hospital, a government polyclinic, 3 health centres and numerous private hospitals and clinics.
The Tema Municipality is divided into 4 sub-districts (sub-municipalities) as namely Tema Township, Ashiaman, Manhean and Kpone.
Ga West District
The Ga West district used to be almost entirely rural but has been caught up in the urban spread of the Accra metropolis and Tema municipality and is rapidly urbanizing especially in the areas bordering Accra - Tema. Its estimated 2005 midyear population is 424,224. There are 6 functional CHPS zones, 2 health centres, and the Weija clinic. There are no government hospitals or polyclinics.
The lack of health infrastructure is because urban growth has rapidly outstripped the infrastructure that used to be adequate for a sparsely populated rural district. There are numerous small private clinics in the urbanized parts of the district.
The Ga West district is divided into 3 sub-districts namely Amasaman, Obom and Weija.
Ga East District
The Ga East district used to be almost entirely rural but has been caught up in the urban spread of the Accra metropolis and Tema municipality and is rapidly urbanizing especially in the areas bordering Accra - Tema. Its estimated 2005 midyear population is 258,478. There is one functional CHPS compound, 3 health centres, one small MCH clinic and no government hospitals or polyclinics. The lack of health infrastructure is because urban growth has rapidly outstripped the infrastructure that used to be adequate for a sparsely populated rural district. There are numerous small private clinics in the urbanized parts and one small CHAG hospital run by the church of Pentecost.
Dangme West District
The Dangme West district is completely rural and typical of rural districts elsewhere in Southern Ghana. Dangme East and West used to be one district, the Dangme district until they were split in 1988 as part of Government decentralization policy. At that time, the Osudoku sub-district that used to be part of the Yilo Krobo district of the Eastern region was added to the Dangme West district and became part of Greater Accra. Dangme West had a population of 96,809 in the 2000 census.
Poverty is widespread. Most of the population are subsistence farmers using non-mechanized rain fed agricultural; and along the coast, fishermen. The district is divided into four sub-districts namely Dodowa, Prampram, Ningo and Osudoku. There are 3 functional CHPS compounds and 4 health centres. There are no hospitals in the district.
Dangme East District
The Dangme East like the Dangme West district is completely rural and typical of rural districts elsewhere in Southern Ghana. Dangme East had a population of 93,112 in the 2000 census. Poverty is widespread. Most of the population are subsistence farmers using non-mechanized rain fed agriculture; and along the coast, fishermen.
Dangme East district has 2 functional CHPS compounds, 5 health centres and a hospital that was completed and started operation in 2003. There are four sub-districts namely Ada-Foah, Kasseh, Sege and Pediatorkope.
Population and demographics
Greater Accra had a population of 2,905,726 in the 2000 National population census and a growth rate of 4.4% which gives an estimated mid year population for 2006 of 3,762,336. The total fertility rate in the region of 2.9 from the 2003 Ghana demographic and health survey is the lowest in the country. The high population growth rate in the region is thus a mixture of natural increase and rapid migration into the urban parts of the region from all over the country. Observation suggests that a fair number of the migrants are unskilled rural migrants moving into the city to look for non-existent jobs and ending up in the pool of urban poor.
It is the most densely populated region in the country in part because it contains the city of Accra, the capital of Ghana. Its population density from the 2000 census was 1,019 persons per square kilometre. It is the only region in the country where the rural urban ratio is reversed. Eighty eight percent (88%) of its population lives in localities defined as urban (population five thousand or more) and only 12 percent live in small rural communities. Many of its urban localities are very large with population running into tens of thousands. The region therefore currently has six administrative districts Accra Metropolis, Tema Municipality, Ga West, Ga East, Dangme East and Dangme West.