Health Post & Programs
Preventive and emergency health care are typically not available to many families in Ghanaian villages. Malaria, severe dehydration, poor nutrition, lack of hygiene, and the absence of clean water produce an unusually high incidence of illness and death in children. According to the United Nations in 2006, some 80,000 children in Ghana under the age of five would die each year, most from preventable and treatable diseases.
Ghanaian Mothers’ Hope builds health posts and provides clinics offering local care to families. Services include emergency care, first aid, oral re-hydration, immunizations, preventive care, and prenatal and labor delivery.
The Akramaman Health Post is a 10-room, 2,900 square foot medical clinic with delivery room, palpation room, observation rooms, immunization room, laboratory room, consultation room, pharmacy, and reception area. The facility includes a toilet and shower for maternity patients. Solar panels provide electricity and water.
A residence for health care staff to live on site and be available at all times to villagers is under construction.
Ghanaian Mother’s Hope builds the health facilities and turns then over to Ghanaian medical and health care staff.
Ghanaian Mother’s Hope also facilitates workshops and training for families and health care staff, supporting disease prevention, medical and health care, hygiene, nutrition, and oral rehydration. For example, mothers have learned new ways to add protein to their children’s diet - taking a smoked fish, pounding it into powder, then adding it to the morning porridge increases a child’s nutrition.
It seemed so simple when we began building the Health Clinic in 2009. The Health Clinic was not large. To us it seemed small. A Team from the U.S. worked hard to create ceilings and electrical wiring. A Container full of equipment arrived. But in Ghana our building was considered very large for a village and the Ministry of Health decided it would do very nicely for a sub-hospital and full clinic. Of course there was one draw back--it would need a resident headquarters to house two full-time nurses.
The Health Clinic was finished in 2010 and has been used for many “health fairs” and as a base of operations for local public health nurses but it is not open for emergency visits or for childbirth. Once the Nurses Headquarters is finished, two full-time 24/7 nurses will man the Health Clinic.
The Headquarters foundation and walls have been constructed. The windows and door frames have been ordered. The roof trusses and roofing should be done in late winter, early spring. We expect to turn the building over to the Ministry of Health by September--We could be installing ceilings again this summer.
Women's Education Program
With the encouragement and funding of the Child Health Foundation, the women’s education program continues. Additionally, the Akramaman health and hygiene programs have been extended to the village of Twerebo.
Our team split up today with three of us going on medical mission - Scott, Tyler and I did medical mission. Our day began very early, 5:30 am. We had to be driven into the city to meet a driver. We were joining the Anglican Diocese of Accra on this medical mission.
Ascension Episcopal Church in Westminster MD and St. George's Episcopal Church in, Hampstead MD had collected $2,150 for pediatric drugs. We have several thousand doses of worm medication, malaria medication and vitamins. We also collected over 200 bottles and tubes of over the counter drugs.
My small group delivered some of the drugs to the outreach team and stayed to watch and offer help when we could. Scott is a respiratory therapist and did a few chest checks. Tyler photographed and I helped with weights and measures. Since many babies were very frightened of the white woman, I was not always helping the situation but for the most part was able to speed things along.
Medicines from the USA
Medical Supplies from the US
Imagine going to the doctor’s office and having to sit in line. Yes, move slowly down the path of the 10 benches until it is your turn. This was a small outreach so people only waited about two hours. I have been at large ones where the wait can be as long as six hours. Most people complained of headaches, worms and bloody urine (caused by a parisite that is in contaminated water. It usually enters through bare feet). The whole village was dewormed. They are registering people for health care - a new scheme (yes they use that word in the good sense) and starting a program to teach nutritional health--hummm, sounds just like the program we introduced last year.
Love from Ghana,