About Us

Profile of the Upper East Region

The Upper East Region is located in the north-eastern corner of the country between longitude 0° and 1° West and latitudes 10° 30"N and 11°N. It has two international boundaries; namely Burkina Faso to the north and the Republic of Togo to the East. Peoples of these three countries share so much in common: language, socio-cultural and belief systems. There is intense cross border movement of people, goods and services at these borders. The challenges of disease surveillance and control in particular and health service delivery in general arising out of this geo-physical and social cultural associations cannot be over-emphasised.

  • Surface area of the region is 8,842 sq.km (about 3.7% of the country).
  • Rainfall short and scanty (800-900mm p.a) and long dry season with dry harmattan winds and hot periods – 40°C.
  • Population from 2000 census is 920,089 (this about 4.8% of total population of country)
  • Growth rate 1.1%
  • Projected Population for 2004 is 961,246.
  • Density 108 people/sq.km, range 35- 175 and compare national average of 77
  • Population is largely rural (87%).
  • Settlement pattern is highly dispersed in 911 communities
  • Portable water coverage is about 66% in 2002 (national 44%), range 39 (Bolga– 96%-Bawku West)
  • Five main languages are spoken in the region (Gurune, Kusal, Kasem, Buili and Bisa



Region is divided into 6 administrative districts and 42 health sub-districts.  Two new districts were created towards end of the year.  These are Talensi-Nabdam from Bolgatanga Municipal, and Garu-Tempane from Bawku East Municipal, bringing the number of districts to eight in the Region..   The region lies within the Meningitis Belt of Africa.  This belt is made up 21 countries with a population of 250 million in the age group 2- 29 years.  This is the most vulnerable group with respect to CSM epidemics.  Focal outbreaks and sometimes very widespread and devastating epidemics are commonplace events in the region each year.  The Region also lies within the Savana blinding onchocerciasis belt of West Africa.  Before the inception of OCP, blinding rates from onchocerciasis were as high as 10% in some communities.  Even though the disease is practically controlled, the flies still pose serious nuisance to farming communities along the fertile river basins.  In addition to mass distribution of ivermectin to communities with residual infections, we are also conducting active epidemiological surveillance for early detection of any recrudescence of the disease.  
Economic Activities

Compounds are surrounded by relatively small farmlands.  Crops grown year in and year out on these small farmlands include cereals (millet and guinea corn), groundnuts and onions.  Rice and tomatoes are cultivated on both small and large scale using two irrigation schemes (Tono and Vea Dams) and about 400 smallholder dams and dugouts.  Animal rearing is also a major occupation of the rural population.

Health Service Delivery

The Region is divided into thirteen (13) administrative districts and Eighty Six (86) health subdistricts. The region has 297 health facilities and Ghana Health Service operates about 89% of all health facilities in the region. Data on health facilities by ownership is as follows:

  • Government             - 266  
  • Mission                   - 12
  • Private                     - 18  
  • Quasi Government    - 1

Only 60% of the people are within 8km radius of health facility.


Burden of Disease

There is high burden of preventable communicable diseases such as Malaria, Diarrhoea and Intestinal Worms. High prevalence of Vitamin A deficiency, Iodine deficiency disorders, Iron deficiency diseases and iron deficiency anaemia and 32% of children under five (5) are underweight (DHS-2008).